Local News

County attorney will handle dog issue

The Deshler City Council will not be involved with a dogs at large case, where owner of the dogs, Donald Ross, filed petition to prevent the city from confiscating and destroying the animals after they escaped and allegedly killed a neighbor’s rabbits and chickens. 

Ross, who has lived at 415 First Street in Deshler as a renter for over three years, claimed the city denied him a fence permit in August because Ross didn’t own the home. 

He said he had verbal permission from his landlord to build the fence. Ross then purchased the home and received the permit, however, the city wanted his animals destroyed. 

Ross was in county court Oct. 28 on a dogs at large ticket, and pled guilty. The fine for dogs at large is $100 plus court costs, according to the Deshler city ordinance.  

He has huskies and at the Deshler City Council meeting Nov. 5, Ross was asked why his dogs weren’t licensed and he said three of the small dogs are. 

“When we first moved here, we weren’t sure if we were going to buy the house,” he answered. “We didn’t know if we were going to be able to have the dogs.” 

Ross said he feels like he’s been given the “run around,” but council member Travis Miller said Ross has to follow the law. 

“The city had to follow procedures. We are not going take the dogs,” Miller said. 

“As far as collecting damages, that’s not our job,” city attorney Ben Murray said. “We’ve declared them dangerous. The county attorney will handle it,” Murray was referring to county attorney Dan Werner.

At the time of the meeting, Ross was installing a fence deep enough to prevent his dogs from digging out.

In other business, the council will send a letter to the owners of 1315 Third St., after it was discovered the owners, who applied for and received a loan from the owner-occupied program through the Southeast Nebraska Development District, are no longer living there. 

City records show the owners haven’t lived at the address since December of 2017, which is in direct violation of the program. 

Owner-occupied funds are income-based and do not include cosmetic improvements, rather, they can be used for energy efficiency, electrical work and keeping a home updated.

Loans are eventually forgiven if owners stay in the home long enough, but in this case, the owners left the home before the $24,999 loan could be prorated down and still owe $16,040.81. 

The city has a lien against the property. 

“We would like them to sell the home,” Mayor Julie Deepe said. That would put $16,040.81 back into the city’s fund to help another homeowner. 

The city will enter into a street project as part of its One and Six Year Road Plan for an estimated $565,000 near Fourth and Locust Streets. The city’s portion will be about 30 percent of the total cost, which will be assessed to property owners on the street. 

Ryan Kavan, the JEO engineer, said the street would close for construction after school is dismissed in May to allow enough time to complete the project before the fair in August. 

Kavan told the council the street would open by Aug. 1. He said an engineer will be on-site at an hourly rate, which could add up to $34,100 by the time the project is finished.