At Monday evening’s city council meeting feathers were flying. Not in a heated discussion sort of way. But more in a “how do we handle the requests of residents who want to have chickens?” sort of way.
Some Richmond Heights residents are interested in raising egg-laying chickens in their yards as part of a popular movement where families provide their own food. With input from residents in attendance, the council learned about and discussed the benefits of this trend balanced with the desire not to disturb neighbors. Currently, there is no ordinance regulating chickens; the city issues temporary permits. The council made no decision about chicken-keeping but will research the topic some more to see what other municipalities are doing. Mayor James Beck said any regulations about keeping chickens need to be separate from the pet ordinance.
Even though the chicken issue generated the most discussion, the council did take care of other business matters.
A motion was passed to appropriate $20,000 in Community Block Grant Funds as they were allocated in the past; the funds, which will be available after January 1, 2012, went up from $18,000 last year. There is no rollover provision so the funds must be used by the end of that year or the money is lost.
The council approved a professional services agreement with CH2MHill and passed bills 5317 and 5318 unanimously.
State Representative Stacey Newman, whose district includes Clayton and Richmond Heights, gave a review of the recent legislative session citing successes and disappointments. In particular Turner v. Clayton, also known as the “Turner Fix,” did not pass and is back in the courts. The schools that border the city are nervous, Newman said, especially Brentwood since there are around 200 kids on the waiting list.
“It’s not that the school districts don’t want the kids, it’s who’s going to pay for them and the necessary space,” Newman said.
Councilman Paul Lore, District 1, suggested a possible funding source: “If we have to share our sales tax revenue, why not ask Maryland Heights to share its gambling revenues?”
The meeting adjourned to go into closed session.
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