EDON — The Edon Village Council had the first reading on an ordinance that would change which animals are legal to keep in the village.
Currently, the only animals allowed are companion animals that need to live within the house. However, the proposed ordinance would change that to allow more animals in the village with a permit from the village administrator.
“The current language says people are limited to five cats and/or five dogs or any combination thereof; If you want that to be moved in one direction or another, that’s something we need to address,” said Tom Thompson, village solicitor.
To have more than five animals would require a permit from Chad Ordway, village administrator. Thompson said there are factors the administrator has to look at when issuing the permit.
It would also allow people to have just about any animal as long as they get the permit, with Councilman Brook Morris saying his understanding was that he could have a cow if Ordway would issue the permit.
Thompson said that assessment was correct.
“The administrator has some discretion and I assume he’s going to make the wisest decisions he can and not allow a cow to be downtown,” he said. “Any animal other than what you would consider a normal, domesticated animal, Chad has to give his blessing to. This is in lieu of everything being off the board.”
Morris said he thought it was a lot of responsibility to put on the administrator and wondered if the next administrator would deny a cow.
In regards to a violation, Thompson said the matter would be dealt with by Tom Szymczak, village police chief, because it is in the criminal code. A violation would be a misdemeanor.
Councilman Lee Lawrence said he wanted to see a provision about space in the ordinance, as well, but made no such motion.
The council voted 4-2 on the first reading. Councilmen Mike Lirot and Dave Loughborough voted against it. Ordinances are typically approved upon passage of their third reading.
Thompson said some changes can still be made up until the legislation is passed.