A consideration to revoke a Lamplighter neighborhood couple’s city business license to breed their two dogs and sell the pups was revisited at the Tuesday, Sept. 19, city council meeting, after having been tabled at the August council meeting.
Council heard arguments from attorneys for the Roberts family and for the city, and ultimately determined to revoke the license. Dog breeding, which is defined in the municipal code 1347, as a kennel, is not allowed within zone RO.
Arguing for the Roberts family, attorney Grady Fort stated that under the same municipal code, with the redesignation of home occupation, instead of dog breeding as the business license title, breeding dogs is no difference from any other home occupation, he said, for example, from selling essential oil or Avon products in the home.
Attorney Tom White, representing the city of Lewisburg, however, said, the issue before the council is that the license request was specifically stated as “dog breeding.” The solution, he said, is to revoke the license. The dog owners could request a license under the designation “home occupation” if they wish.
The Lamplighter Homeowners Association President Jeanne Crandall stated that there are other issues some members of the homeowners association have with the dogs owned by the Roberts, which will be addressed within the Lamplighter Homeowners Organization and not by city council.
In other business:
- A Lewisburg resident, Franklin Johnson, was approved to join the ranks of the parks commission to fill the remaining term of former parks commissioner Merrick Tracy.
- Council member Beverly White’s parks commission report also included a commitment from the students at the West Virginia School of Medicine (WVSOM) to help fund improvements to Dorie Miller Park by sponsoring a 5K marathon race with the park as a funding recipient. WVSOM student Jessica Mercado-Ortiz, who serves on the parks commission, stated that the event will be held during the third weekend in October. The race will be on the school grounds, she said, and more information will be forthcoming soon in the media.
- A resolution supporting the road bond amendment, the single issue voters will address at the special election on Oct. 7, was approved by council. The bond allows repairs to roadways, small and large, and to bridges across the state. The bond will raise as much as $1.6 billion, Mayor John Manchester said, including the 19 projects within the county that will be positively affected by the passage of the bond. No added taxes are involved with the passage of the bond, the mayor said.
- Police Chief Tim Stover said the tenth anniversary of the DARE to Cruz Car Show had 204 car entries on display in downtown Lewisburg last Saturday, and raised a record $4,100 for the D.A.R.E. Program benefiting the fifth grade students at Eastern Greenbrier Middle School. “This was the best car show ever,” he exclaimed.
- A few of the 85 emergency calls to the Lewisburg Volunteer Fire Department last month prompted some raised eyebrows at the meeting. Fire Chief Joey Thomas reported there were two structure fires in the same building, as a result of a rekindling of the blaze. A gunshot fired through a wall in an apartment complex damaged a sprinkler system, flooding several apartments in the building. A tree trimmer was severely burned, but survived electrocution, when he cut through electric lines while pruning a tree. Firefighters found him still 20 feet up in the tree, got him safely down and airlifted to a hospital. And lastly, the aquatic diving component of the fire department was called by the city’s public works Director Roger Pence to repair a broken lever at the bottom of a water tank, where diver Matt Turner was lowered 36 feet under water to replace the failed part. The other solutions, Pence said, would have meant draining the tank, incurring a loss of water for a period of time for residents in the area.
“These are examples of what the fire department can do,” said Manchester, who commended the department on their level of training.
Thomas also said the department is working with the Red Cross in a campaign to “Sound the Alarm” to provide smoke detectors in every household in Lewisburg. The fire department continues to offer and install three smoke detectors free of charge to residents. Thomas said to call or leave a message at 304-645-3237.