Riverton council to accept check from Encana, discuss allowing chickens in city limits

By Ernie Over, managing editor, county10.com

(Riverton, Wyo.) – The Riverton City Council will meet in regular session on Tuesday this week at City Hall with the 7 p.m. agenda highlighted by a check presentation from Encana Natural Gas to the city. The $12,000 donation will support the city’s pilot program to equipment city vehicles with compressed natural gas.

Police Chief Mike Broadhead will present another citizen award at the top of the meeting.

In other items on the agenda, councilors will further discuss the issue of an administrative issuance of catering permit applications. City Attorney Rick Sollars has indicated that state statutes require the “governing body” to be the issuer of such permits and if the council delegates that authority, “the action is void.” City Administrator Steven Weaver has been in contact with other municipalities around the state to hear how they handle such permits, and he will report his findings to the council Tuesday night.

Ordinances up for third and final reading is one that establishes terms for city boards and another that formally establishes an Airport Board.

Planning and zoning issues on the agenda include the rezoning of Tract A, Brentwood Addition from MHP Mobile Home Park to Residential B for lot 2A and C-O Commercial Office for lot 3A. The council will also be asked to approve the County Plat of Sack Subdivision, which is east of Paradise Valley Road but within one mile of the city limits.

Perhaps the most interesting item on Tuesday’s agenda is a planned discussion on allowing chickens to be raised and kept within the city limits. That practice is currently not allowed by city code, but numerous residents already own flocks of chickens, Council Member Todd  Smith said at the last meeting, proposing the idea. Police Chief Broadhead said his department has not received any complaints about chickens. In a memo to the council, Weaver said the action would allow families to be more self-sufficient by providing a food source with fresh eggs, pest reduction by chickens eating insects and providing a nutrient rich fertilizer for gardens. Weaver said the city staff is in favor of the idea, with limitations, including an average of only 3 to 6 chickens per household with no roosters allowed, proximity to the property line of 20 to 30 feet, a living space o not less than 9 to 16 square feet per chicken, keeping the fowl in pens or runs that must be kept in good repair, providing proper sanitation control and no commercial use allowed.