WINNSBORO — Winnsboro Town Council took the first steps in prohibiting the keeping of certain animals declared to be a nuisance within town limits by delivering the first reading of an ordinance.
Town staff read the general provisions that appended a section of the ordinance and declared specific animals to be a public nuisance, specifically citing any fowl, bird, dog, cat or other animal which shall by sound, odor or sight affect the comfort, peace, quiet or health of the people.
The ordinance states that it shall be unlawful for any person to own, keep, possess or maintain an animal in such a manner as to constitute a public nuisance.
Animal Control and law enforcement officers may institute criminal misdemeanor process upon probable cause and immediately impound animals declared to be in violation.
Evans Street resident Sara Bryant recently spoke in support of the animal nuisance ordinance during the public comment portion of Tuesday’s town council meeting.
“We want to thank you (town council) for your effort to enhance these ordinances,” she stated. “We feel heard by you that these issues must be addressed by you for the continued improvement of our town.”
Bryant believes that many animals do not belong in town limits or in close proximity to neighboring residents.
The town currently has ordinances on animals and have maintained those on a complaint basis.
Bryant said that rather than having outdoor events in the summer she has had to entertain guests inside because of the smell and overflow of flies from the property’s chicken coup.
She also expressed support for the hiring of a code enforcement officer to enforce the ordinances.
Winnsboro Mayor Roger Gaddy said there are two town employees currently handling the enforcement of ordinances.
Once the enhanced ordinances are passed, the town will inquire about the service of the county before hiring an enforcement officer.
Bryant believes the ordinances have already started to have an effect on resident’s property upkeep.
“We have noticed that some property’s have been improved with even the rumor that property maintenance ordinances are on the horizon,” she noted.
Bryant said she is grateful to the town for making the efforts toward cleaning up the town to bring in economic development.
“The more effort we put in now to maintain our town, the more we can achieve in the future to attract and retain good businesses,” she stated.
Winnsboro Town Manager Don Wood proposed a draft of the ordinance during the March 17 meeting when Bryant told council her sleep is disrupted at 2 a.m, 3 a.m. and 4 a.m. every day by crowing roosters.
“We’ve had to tolerate and complain about chickens in our neighborhood for a long time,” Bryant pleaded. “We encourage you to consider the new ordinance carefully. I’m really tired of getting woken up by roosters.”
Council did not identify any opposition to the nuisance ordinance as of yet, although the second reading will have a public hearing during the next scheduled meeting on April 15.