Council pauses ban on feeding wildlife, strays

Study group being formed to address issue


A proposal to ban the intentional feeding of wildlife and stray animals within the city was tabled Monday by members of the Crawfordsville Common Council.

Councilman Jeff Lucas, chairman of the Ordinance & Petitions Committee, introduced the proposed legislation to the full council, but immediately made a motion to table it. His fellow council members agreed, voting 7-0.

The move was met with applause and cheers from the large group of people who filled the council chambers.

Mayor Todd Barton addressed the audience, saying it is the city’s intent to form a study group to look further into the issue and find common ground.

“There is a lot of anger and passion on each side of that issue coming from residents from within our city,” Barton said. “It is important to remember that what you see up here is a citizen-driven process. So, I’ve heard people say, ‘the city wants to do this.’ The city is not out to do anything, we are responding to constituents. Some constituents are upset, and they want something done and others feel very differently. We understand that.”

Anyone interested in serving on the study group is encouraged to contact the mayor’s office by phone or email.

In other business, the council:

• Adopted an ordinance re-establishing the Cumulative Capital Development Fund at a rate of $.05 per $100 of assessed value. A public hearing was held at the start of the meeting, and there were no comments.

• Adopted an ordinance re-establishing the Cumulative Fire Fund at a rate of $.0333 per $100 of assessed value. A public hearing also was conducted and there were no comments.

• Approved the first reading of an ordinance that amends the maximum salary levels for entry-level parking enforcement employees at the Crawfordsville Police Department. Two additional readings are needed.

• Approved a declaratory resolution designating an Economic Revitalization Area and approving a $5.6 million tax abatement for Penguin Random House LLC. The book publisher recently announced the expansion of its Crawfordsville facility by 650,000 square feet. The project will enable the local facility to double its annual shipments of books. The local facility is home to 900 employees.

• Adopted an environmental restrictive ordinance regulating the installation and use of new groundwater wells and the use of groundwater in the area near the former McIntire Cleaners site at 201 W. Main St. This ordinance applies to a five-block area near the former dry cleaner site. No properties within the area are serviced by wells, and all are on city water.

• Approved the first reading of an ordinance prohibiting parking on the south side of Constitution Row in Crawfordsville. The restrictions would apply between C.R. 100S and the Constitution Row’s terminus. Two additional readings are required.

• Adopted an ordinance to annex property known as approximately 4.34 acres located at 801 S. State Road 47. The site is owned by Primera Iglesia Bautista and includes the associated right-of-way. The annexation was voluntary.