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Published: Wednesday, 5/27/2009

Perrysburg approves ban on most exotic animals

BY JENNIFER FEEHAN
BLADE STAFF WRITER

If it looks like a pet and acts like a pet, it's probably a pet.

But animals that don't fit that category most likely are no longer permitted in the city of Perrysburg.

City Council last week approved a new ordinance prohibiting residents from having most exotic animals, defined as "any 'restricted animal species' ... and any other animal species which, because of its size, nature, or other characteristics constitutes a danger to property or to human life if it were to escape from secure quarters."

The new ordinance includes a list of more than two pages of animals that are not permitted beginning with poisonous reptiles, continuing through mammals such as bears and whales, and on to bird species not commonly bred in captivity and kept as a pet, such as eagles, owls, and game cocks.

"The goal of the legislation ... is to take animals which people would normally think of as pets and allow people to continue to own and possess those as pets," said City Law Director Matt Beredo. "Pot-bellied pigs are a pet - a more unusual pet - but it is a pet so it's not on the [prohibited] list."

Violation of the ordinance is a minor misdemeanor on the first offense, a fourth-degree misdemeanor on the second offense, and a first-degree misdemeanor on the third offense. Any restricted animal species may be seized and impounded with all reasonable costs incurred by the city charged against the violator, the ordinance states.

Also last week, council:

•Approved a five-year job creation grant for Greenline Beans of Bowling Green, which plans to build new corporate offices in Levis Park.

Greenline expects to bring 35 to 39 jobs to Perrysburg with an annual payroll estimated at $2.5 million. City Planning Director Rick Thielen said the grant will amount to a $12,500-a-year rebate on the company's payroll taxes, which are expected to amount to about $37,500 a year

•Authorized city officials to seek bids for construction of the indoor firing range planned in conjunction with Owens Community College.

Perrysburg and Owens were awarded $200,000 in state funds to build the range in the lower level of the police department. The city will match that amount, City Administrator John Alexander said.

•Authorized city officials to seek bids for the second phase of the Fort Meigs Road improvement project.

Mr. Alexander said plans call for widening Fort Meigs from Eckel Junction Road south to the CSX railroad crossing. A center turn lane and multi-purpose path will be added to that strectch of Fort Meigs, similar to what was done from the rail crossing south to Roachton Road last summer.

•Agreed to do away with criminal sanctions for residents who fail to shovel their sidewalks.

While failure to remove snow from sidewalks had been on the books as a minor misdemeanor for 25 years, Mayor Nelson Evans said earlier this year that it was rarely if ever enforced and he wanted to see it made a civil infraction rather than a crime.



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