Mendon City Council to hold two public hearings

The Mendon City Council will hold two public hearings on Thursday, April 13, beginning at 7:00 p.m. The first is to discuss a proposal from the Mendon Fire Department to impose a $5/month Fire Protection Fee to be added to every Mendon City utility billing. Funds collected would be used to replace aging vehicles and maintain and/or purchase new fire department and public works equipment.

Erik Andersen, Mendon City’s assistant fire chief over Emergency Medical Services, said the fee would benefit the community in the long run because it would provide the fire department with a continuing revenue stream. State and federal mandates require the department to maintain safety certifications and equipment standards that result in significant expenses, he said. There are also potential liabilities involved when equipment is outdated beyond its regulatory lifespan.

“The idea of the fee is to allow us to be able to replace a lot of aging vehicles and equipment that we can’t replace any other way,” Andersen said. “A lot of what we have now has been donated, which has been a great blessing, but it’s aging so much that it’s starting to cost more money to maintain than it would to get something new.”

Andersen said surrounding communities like Wellsville have implemented a similar fee in the past that has worked well, allowing the Wellsville Fire Department to purchase wildland vehicles.

“When agencies like ours can get new equipment,” he said, “we can provide a better public service.”

The second public hearing is to address Mendon City’s dog licensing requirements and related citation fees for ordinance violations.

“The goal or the purpose of the proposed policy changes is to enforce measures that we have not enforced in the past,” said Bob Jepsen, Mendon City’s council member who oversees animal control. “We just want to protect the community and put the responsibility on the owners to be sure their animals are immunized and licensed. We want people to have animals, but in a lawful way.”

According to a memo from Teena Young, Mendon City clerk, the city has inconsistencies in its kennel license requirements and does not have fees in place for violations of several dog ordinances, including No Dog License. Additionally, the city’s Vicious Dog Ordinance, passed in 1986, has not been codified/enforced, and there are questions about whether dogs are allowed in city parks. Mendon City officials are communicating with the Nibley City Court, where infractions in Mendon are adjudicated, to potentially streamline classifications of ordinance violations and increase penalties for more severe situations, like dogs attacking people or animals.

“We want citizens to feel safe when they’re out and about,” Jepsen said. “When dogs aren’t leashed up or when we’re dealing with strays, we want people to feel protected.”

All citizens with interest in these topics of discussion are invited to attend the public hearings. The Mendon City Council meets at the Mendon City Hall and Library, located at 15 N. Main.

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