Meeting:



Meridian City Council. March 18, 2008. The next meeting of the city council will be held April 1 at 9 a.m.



What Happened:



Animal Control:

• A change in animal control ordinances which would have restricted the number of pet dogs city residents could keep in one household to three and given residents two months to find new homes for puppies was held over until a later date. The council wished further research to be conducted on the issue and amendments to be made to the ordinances. City of Meridian Chief Administrative Officer Ken Storms recommended that the ordinance allow some way for exceptions to be made, and Meridian Mayor John Robert Smith expressed concern that two months may not be a reasonable amount of time to find homes for puppies.

• In further discussion on animal control, Ward 1 Councilman Dr. George Thomas said that his wife had encountered an injured animal over the weekend, but, upon calling for help, had been told by 911 personnel and a Meridian police officer that animal control did not work on Saturdays. Ward 2 Councilwoman Mary A.B. Perry said she had a similar experience upon encountering a dead domestic animal. Numerous city officials told the council that an animal control worker is on call at all times. Both Storms and Smith said that the matter would be addressed.



Neighborhood Dispute:

• A public hearing was held over a dispute between the Lakemont Civic Improvement Association, which is comprised of residents of the Lakemont subdivision near the 22nd Avenue Heights area, and a Lakemont homeowner, Nan Casciaro. Casciaro wanted to re-zone part of her Lakemont property in order to convert a house into a candle shop. Members of the Civic Association opposed the re-zoning out of concern that the land could eventually be sold to a larger business. The council resolved to consider the matter at the April 1 meeting because of apparent misunderstandings between parties and the absence of Ward 5 Councilman John Harris.



Mayor's Report:



Digital Television Transition:

• The mayor explained to the public that the DTV transition will only affect those who are both using older television sets and receiving free television transmissions via rooftop antenna or "rabbit ears." Digital-to-analog converter boxes, which will make it possible for older televisions to continue receiving free over-the-air programming after digital transition, are available at a $40 discount with government coupons. For information on obtaining the coupons, call 1-888-388-2009, or 1-888-530-2634 for the hearing impaired, or visit www.dtv2009.gov. In Meridian, coupons are honored at Wal-Mart, Best Buy, or Radio Shack. Coupons must be used within 30 days of receipt.



Preserve America Community:

• The mayor announced that Meridian has "just" been designated a "Preserve America Community," as reported in the Meridian Star on Feb. 8, 2008.



City Hall Renovation:

• The mayor provided information about the renovation of city hall, saying that some of its terra cotta tiles will be replaced due to deterioration, and that the deterioration of the tiles would have caused great damage to the building had the renovation not taken place. Additionally, work has begun on the creation of an elevator shaft and a stairwell in the building's interior.

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