On Monday, May 15, the Perry City Council met for their bi-monthly regular meeting. The following topics were discussed in length at the hour-long public session.

Discussion over fireworks legalizing in Iowa, work session assigned for council members

The Council discussed Perry’s perspective in Governor Branstad’s signing of SF 489, the “legislation to legalize the possession, sale and use of consumer-grade fireworks on a limited basis in Iowa.” This allows each individual city to determine whether or not fireworks will be legal for recreational use to the public.

Some of the regulations brought into discussion included assigning specific zoning locations for recreational firework use, potential zoning locations where fireworks could be sold in the future, as well as the option of opting out of recreational firework use for Perry altogether. The Council agreed to designating a work session to go over the ordinance for the fireworks.

“I know there’s strong opponents on both sides of the issue in terms of using fireworks and not,” Andorf said. “I think we need to have a session on this too – there’s way too much to dissect.”

Chief Eric Vaughn expressed concern regarding the use of recreational fireworks during the meeting.

“We discussed several things; Chris and I on the public safety side are concerned about injuries, concerned about potentials for fires; there’s dry conditions during that time of year, especially during the summertime,” Vaughn said.

Vaughn discussed the reoccurring complaints that fall on Fourth of July regarding illegal fireworks shot off in public places.

“I don’t know that we have enough time to do anything before this Fourth of July,” Vaughn said. “So we might have to just roll with what we’ve been given and see how things go, but I think there was some talk of restricting it further from the dates of usage down to a month period or the week of the Fourth of July.”

The two holiday’s discussed regarding a heavy amount of firework usage include the Fourth of July and New Years Eve.

“It’s unfortunate,” Mayor Jay Pattee said. “We don’t really have much choice about this year so what we’re talking about is next year and we’re hoping that things go well this year.”

The Council agreed to meet for a working session to discuss further details regarding a more set-in-stone fireworks ordinance.

Grass Ordinance reminder

City Administrator, Sven Peterson, reminded the Council of the City Grass Ordinance, landing on the first and the third Wednesday of each month. This week’s grass ordinance will take place on the third Wednesday, May 15, due to inclement weather earlier this month.

“This week crews will be out mowing,” Peterson said.

Discussion regarding chicken ordinance in Perry, work session assigned for further research

Currently, Perry’s Code of Ordinance Chapter 55.15. states “It is unlawful for a person to keep livestock within the City except by written consent of the Council or except in compliance with the City zoning regulations.” More recently, the council has discussed the change of ordinance due to an increasing number of requests to have chickens on an individuals property within city limits.

Susie Moorhead completed research prior to the meeting, analyzing chicken ordinances in larger cities such as Iowa City as well as cities with the same size as Perry.

“If the staff is going to do this [ordinance] then we need to have more regulations in writing for this,” Moorhead said.

The Council discussed having the adjacent property owner sign off on chickens, the number of chickens required, how to properly identify the animals, as well as potential concerns that carry over to the Perry Police Department.

After the discussion, the Council agreed that they would meet again during a work session to further develop an outcome for a potential change in chicken ordinance.