/City of Montevallo passes pet ordinance
Graphic by Bell Jackson

City of Montevallo passes pet ordinance

By Cady Inabinett

The Montevallo City Council met Monday, Feb. 22, for their regularly scheduled, biweekly meeting. The Council met to discuss the set agenda topic as well as field the concerns of citizens who chose to attend the meeting. The Council met both in person and via Zoom, with the meeting livestreamed on the city’s Facebook page. 

At the meeting, Mayor Rusty Nix honored two long-time citizens of Montevallo who passed away over the past few weeks.  

The first honored Deloris Cross Evans, who died Jan. 31. Evans was a teacher for more than 25 years, working at ABC Daycare and Kindergarten in Homewood.  

Nix recognized her “gift of patience and love,” her “love for encouraging people with her kind words and soft voice,” and thanked her for her dedication the people of Montevallo. 

The second proclamation honored Barbara Mayweather Belisle.  

Belisle was also a teacher, with Nix pointing out that she was the “first African-American teacher in the Shelby County System and taught for 28 years at Montevallo High School.”  

Belisle was also a published author and poet, in addition to being involved in a number of community organizations, including the Montevallo Arts Council, Montevallo Main Street Players, the Birmingham Civil Rights Institution and the Alabama Writers’ Conclave. 

Three citizens addressed the council during the meeting.  

The first was C.P. Pierson, who requested that the council provides monthly updates about a project taken on by the previous mayor and city council to build a hotel in Montevallo.  

The council did not comment on this request. 

Two other citizens, Jennifer Boyd and Martin Herbert, spoke in favor of approving a new animal control ordinance that would be discussed later in the meeting—with Boyd saying that she doesn’t “see that it negatively affects anybody,” and that passing the ordinance would “only positively affect our town.” 

The council went on to discuss this revised animal control ordinance. The ordinance, which was presented and read at the previous council meeting on Feb. 8, amends Chapter 4, Article II of the Municipal Code to better protect the welfare of animals within the city.  

This ordinance establishes rules about owner’s duty to provide for their pet’s health, such as a rule requiring owners to provide “adequate clean, fresh potable water available to the animal continuously” in the area where it is kept.  

The amendments also create rules about how to “properly restrain dogs on private and commercial property.”  

The ordinance states that it is the responsibility of dog owners or owners of premises where dogs are housed to “keep the animal within effective, humane, and hygienic restraint,” and deems “failure to provide or maintain effective restraint” as unlawful.  

The ordinance goes on to outline what constitutes as proper restraints for a dog. These include fenced enclosures “with adequate space for ease of movement and adequate exercise based on the animal’s breed, age, size, health, coat, and medical condition,” and trolley systems created by “attaching a leash to a pulley on a cable,” given that requirements regarding the dog’s freedom of movement are met.  

The ordinance also says that “any animal that is habitually left outside” must have access to a “structurally sound, moisture proof, windproof shelter.”  

The council unanimously passed the ordinance.  

Following this, the council moved into a closed Executive Session. Executive Sessions are not open to the public, and no notes or minutes will be available from the session.  

According to the agenda, the session was held to discuss “terms of a Property Lease and Economic Incentive Package.”  

The council remained in this session for an hour and a half. Nothing further was discussed at the meeting following their return from this Executive Session. 

The next City Council meeting will be held Monday, March 8, at 6 p.m. The meeting will be livestreamed on the city’s Facebook page. Citizens may also attend the meeting in person at City Hall, however there will be limited seating and social distancing protocols put in place. 

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Cady Inabinett is the editor in chief of The Alabamian. She’s majoring in English and double-minoring in political science and peace and justice studies. She enjoys reading, watching movies, caring for houseplants and generally just being pretentious in her free time.