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Diapers could be required for Amish horses in the city

Cornell City Council Meeting/Budget Hearing

It wasn’t the most tasteful start to the Cornell City Council’s regular meeting Nov. 7, but it was an issue that had to be addressed – horse droppings. Council member Aimee Korger says the matter was briefly discussed at the previous meeting, after concerns were brought to one of the other council members.

“I have had that same complaint…it was said we were going to work with the police to resolve it,” said Korger.

Cornell Police Chief Brian Hurt was on hand to inform the board he had researched what Augusta has on the books to regulate droppings on the street from Amish horses. Augusta’s ordinance requires the horses to wear diapers or traps.

“That’s the only way they can deal with that problem,” said Hurt.

Amish traveling within the city limits of Augusta, have to have a containment system on the back of the horse, or they will be cited.

Mark Larson, council member, says he believes the droppings are becoming a problem and that he has had numerous people comment about the matter.

“I think the amount of Amish people who do come to the community, if you spoke to them, they would probably take the matter into their own hands,” said Larson.

The council agreed to refer the matter to Public Health and Safety, to see what solution can be reached.

Korger also questioned what the police department is doing to keep vehicles off the street overnight. Hurt said officers are going house to house, asking people to get equipment and campers off the streets.

Hurt says after the initial warning, repeat requests will be met with citations.

“We figure one ask is enough, we shouldn’t have to do it every time we come down the street,” said Hurt.

As far as regular parking goes, Hurt says the department tries to be lenient during holidays such as Christmas and Thanksgiving, when company returns home, unless a big snow is expected. According to Hurt, having a third full-time officer has been a big help.

“Have other problems disappeared?” asked council member Steve Turany.

“I would say, with delight, a lot of those problems have left the city for one reason or another,” said Hurt.

Hurt said the third officer has also helped eliminate much of the drug element.

“You don’t know how much I really appreciate having that third full-time body,” said Hurt. “The consistency within the community has been phenomenal.”

Moving on, members agreed to set the 2020 budget (as discussed at a hearing prior to the regular meeting) at $1,442,135, up 1.7 percent. The levy on all taxable property as returned by the assessor, is also up 2 percent, with a property tax contribution of $469,880.

“Remember, these figures are fluid,” said city administrator Dave DeJongh.

Members also agreed on the hire of Terry Hladilek Jr. for a full-time operators/mechanic position at the city shop.

“We felt that he was the best choice out of the candidates we did have,” said council member Ashley Carothers. “We appreciate everyone who did apply and came in to interview.”

It’s possible that Hladilek’s start date would be the week of Thanksgiving, after giving notice to his employer at the time.

“We’re holding the snow off until he gets here, you know,” said Floyd Hickethier.

As a notice to the public, nomination papers can be circulated for the spring election, beginning Dec. 1, for the positions of alderperson (currently held by Larson, Terry Smith and Turany), and the position of mayor (currently held by Judy Talbot).

“Anyone wishing to apply for, or run for, the positions available, may do so by stopping at the [city] office,” said Talbot.