The 1989 Pitbull Ban was lifted during a regular City Council meeting March 8.
Furever Friends Humane Society along with residents of Grant County took up two rows to speak on behalf of the dogs of Ulysses.
Leilani Sullivan, representing Furever Friends, gave points on why the city should not allow the pitbull ban to continue.
"There are no facts to support the continuation of the pitbull ban," Sullivan said.
She went on to explain there is already a vicious dog and cat ordinance in place, which would allow every incident to be evaluated appropriately, regardless of breed (Ordinance Article 2, Section 213 of the Ulysses City Code).
Sullivan shared the story of long-time Ulysses Animal Shelter resident and pitbull, Thor.
“Thor is so loved by our police force. They go out and walk him and give him extra time outside. I believe several of them would have adopted Thor themselves had there not been the ban.”
City Councilman Mark Diaz, responded to the proposal.
"I appreciate everybody that has come in here for the concerns of the dogs of Ulysses," Diaz said. "Amanda (Ulysses Animal Control Officer), I appreciate the job you're doing and the information you've given us. It shows in 2022, there was one pitbull bite, a shepherd bite, a chihuahua bite... There are some unknowns and mixtures. I don't think, myself, that we need to have this ban of pitbulls. I know there's many people out here who might think differently. In my personal opinion, I think we need to repeal it. That would make it somewhat easier for Amanda to do her job. This way we're not picking on specific people. I think it would help the communications within the community to let them (pitbull owners) know we're willing to work with them and maybe we can get some of the dogs off the street and we can clean up the dog pound."
Following questions concerning fines and fees to reclaim, a motion to repeal and replace the ban was moved and accepted.
Ordinance No. 1319 was officially put into effect March 16. It states:
"An ordinance allowing pit bull dogs in the corporate city limits of the city of Ulysses, Kans.; repealing and replacing the existing ordinance to the code of ordinances of the city of Ulysses, Kans.;
"Be it ordained by the Governing Body of the City of Ulysses, Kans.:
"Section 1. Ordinance No. 823, which prohibits the keeping, harboring, owning or in any way possessing Pit Bulls within the corporate limits of the City of Ulysses, Grant County, Kans., and establishes penalties for violations, is hereby repealed in its entirety. Likewise, Chapter II, Article 3. Pit Bull Dogs of the Code of the City of Ulysses is repealed in its entirety.
"Section 2. This ordinance shall become effective upon its publication in the official newspaper of the City of Ulysses, Kansas".
City Meets March 22
City Council members also gathered for a regular meeting March 22.
Concerning new business, the Council approved Resolution 2023-2, an annual gap waver.
Secondly, Mayor Tim McCauley motioned to second Resolution 2023-3, the interest earned from financial accounts. All were in favor.
City Attorney, Lynn Koehn, brought the Woods Project to attention, sharing that the sale of the property is set to close on April 6. The new owner has plans to clean the entire area, install a fence, and possibly build a home on the property. The city is willing to work with the new owner to ensure the current violations are corrected. Koehn continued, updating members on the Baughman Foundation, sharing that the well has not yet been approved.
In the next phase of the meeting, McCauley handed out pamphlets created by City Inspector Natalie Anguiano. One of the pamphlets is proposed to educate the public on the current movements by the City Council. The second pamphlet is about the Kansas Infrastructure Hub. By visiting kshub.org, Kansans are kept up-to-date on the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL). The BIL focuses on transportation, water, energy, and broadband. The website states that
“Kansas infrastructure across the transportation, water, energy, and technology sectors can benefit in three ways:
1. Funding certainty for 5 years means federal, state, and local agencies can do proper planning and make good, long-term investments.
2. Some existing federal formula programs have seen increased funding levels to strengthen and modernize infrastructure.
3. New and increased competitive grant programs have been established.”
Sam Guy inquired about the fishing allowances at Frazier Lake. McCauley explained that the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) must release the lake to catch and keep instead of the current ordinance that only allows catch and release. Guy asked if the ordinance could be changed due to the original water being replaced. McCauley concluded that, ultimately, the answer is left to KDHE, which has steadily remained as “no”.
The next regular City Council meeting will be at 5 p.m., April 12 at City Hall.
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