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The Noel City Council, on Tuesday night, voted to replace the staff at the recycling center and improve operations within the next month. Aldermen also decided to revisit the possibility of shutting down the facility in August.

Mayor Lewis Davis, in making short comments and introducing the issue at the council meeting, said he was considering hiring two people to help clean up the recycling center.

From there, Alderwoman Allie Peck said she was concerned about finding and hiring qualified people willing to work. She said she also knows of several people who would volunteer to help.

Peck said she is concerned about what she called "drug use" and unmotivated workers. She made a motion to shut down the facility until all new help could be hired.

Alderman William Rose countered with a motion, asking that the staff be replaced within one month and that efforts be made to turn the operation around. Members voted to approve that motion and will revisit totally closing the facility at the August meeting.

In other action, members decided to table any action on charging fines for dogs or cats that are not spayed or neutered.

Last month, Bev Bartley, with the "I'm Your Huckleberry" animal rescue, asked the council to consider charging Noel residents an increased fee for having a cat or dog that is not spayed or neutered. Bartley plans to ask various McDonald County towns to do the same. Charging a fee for not having a spayed or neutered pet is "the only way to get people to take responsibility," she said.

She asked city council members to up the fee from $10 per year to $100.

However, council members could not come to an agreement on what they consider a complex issue. Part of the problem is that many dogs are not registered with the city. Raising registration fees or charging fees for not spaying or neutering a pet could further deter residents from registering the animal with the city, some members said.

"We need to come up with a long-term plan," Rose said.

Part of the discussion also centered around the possibility of providing reduced costs for spay and neutering, a program offered through the "I'm Your Huckleberry" animal rescue.

The issue was tabled while members research other nearby towns' regulations and fees.

In other action, council members approved, on its second reading, an ordinance to approve a $10 fee for those who are late paying their sewer bills.

During departmental reports, council members learned that fire department crew members responded to four structure fires and 21 EMS calls in the last month.

General News on 07/12/2018

Print Headline: Noel City Council To Oust Recycling Center Workers

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