Animal talk in Fairbury


Chickens were the talk of the town in Fairbury Wednesday night as a local resident encouraged the city council to explore adopting an ordinance allowing the birds.

Mayor David Slagel reported an ordinance has been written but never passed. It was never voted down, either. If anyone would allow chickens, a farming community like Fairbury probably would in Slagel’s opinion. Towns like Peoria allow them with limits, according to the mayor.

“I’m not asking to have an unlimited number,” said Nick Osborne. “I don’t see a harm to it I guess.”

Slagel suggested scheduling a committee meeting to discuss and review the ordinance further. Alderman Jerry Hoffman agreed.

“I guess I’d recommend we have a committee meeting about it and take another look at it,” Hoffman said.

The animal discussion continued when citizen Dave Shepherd voiced concerns over neighboring dog barks and less-than-ideal yard conditions at a residence in the 300 block of west Ash Street.

“Their solution of cleaning is just throwing more straw on top of it,” Shepherd stated.

Shepherd said his son, who works unusual hours, cannot sleep because of loud barking at the location. Also, Shepherd believes the occupants of the home are often gone for long periods of time.

The mayor acknowledges this is a tough situation but is unsure of a great solution.

Volunteer and local historian Dale Maley updated the council on a recent survey conducted by the Fairbury Improvement Group. They received over 300 responses with 86 of those being Prairie Central High School seniors. Folks were satisfied with city sidewalks but not so much with personal sidewalks in town. In a previous survey, citizens wanted a Mexican restaurant and bed and breakfast. The city now has both.

Maley also said the third “Local Taste: Flavors from the Farm” is planned for the summer. Many people had ideas for the community but it takes a great volunteer effort to pull something off successfully.

The group authorized a mower purchase for the Street Department at a cost of $13,300. The ExMark will be purchased from Sam Walter and Son.

Following an executive session, the council decided to put out ads to hire an officer. They accepted Officer Graham Haley’s resignation, effective Sunday, March 3.

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