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The Shawnee News-Star
  • No fowl in Tecumseh

  • After months of discussing fowl, the Tecumseh city council rejected an ordinance Monday night that would have allowed backyard chickens in town.
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  • After months of discussing fowl, the Tecumseh city council rejected an ordinance Monday night that would have allowed backyard chickens in town.
    That proposal would have allowed residents with yards containing at least 10,000 square feet of space, which is about three city-size lots, to have up to four chickens as long as all city permits and guidelines were followed.
    Mayor Eddy Parker said he had more calls from those opposed to chickens than those in favor, but said the ordinance was written with a “tough reign” for compliance.
    Ward 2 Councilor Bob Stewart said he wasn’t kicking the chicken idea, but didn’t think a residential area is the place for chickens.
    “It’s putting a burden on our compliance deputy…we can't control weeds growing in town let alone chickens,” Stewart said. “I’m not in favor of it.”
    Ward 4 Councilor John Collier also shared his sentiments and said approving such an ordinance means going backwards as far as cleaning up the city.
    While he said he’s had chickens and likes them, they’re not meant for residential areas where people live as they could cause disputes among neighbors.
    “I’m opposed,” Collier said.
    Ward 3 Councilor Linda Praytor, who has been a proponent of the chicken issue because eggs can help feed local families, said residents in Tecumseh were allowed chickens in town until 2012 when the new code book came out.
    “Nobody ever griped about chickens in this town,” she said.
    Praytor quickly made a motion to accept the ordinance, which was seconded by the mayor. She and Parker voted in favor of it but with three no votes from Ward 1 Councilor Linda Farris as well as Stewart and Collier, the measure failed.
    In other business:
    • The council agreed to pay half of the cost of replacing the roof on a city-owned building leased by the Tecumseh Historical Society.
    • The board had a discussion only agenda item concerning the idea of putting in a splash park and seeking grants for the project, which could cost more than $200,000. The board agreed to put the item on next month’s meeting agenda for further discussion and possible action.
    • Tecumseh city hall will remain closed Tuesday as crews clean up a sewer bypass backup in the city offices.

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