Aurora City Council mulls cemetery board, pigs as pets

Steve Chapman

The Aurora City Council discussed the possibility of creating a cemetery board during their meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 22.
According to unofficial minutes from the meeting, City Manager Jon Holmes began the discussion by stating the idea of creating a cemetery board had been presented before the end of 2018. He stated his concerns about creating such a board, including the ordinances required, the length of terms and duties of the board’s members and the justification for creating the board. He asked the council to consider these issues before he began writing ordinances for the board’s creation.
 Mayor Dawn Oplinger stated she felt the cemetery is doing great and there was no need for a cemetery board. However, Councilman Don McWade said citizens in Aurora have issues concerning the cemetery, and he has received complaints, but the people making them wouldn’t come to a council meeting to discuss them. The minutes didn’t indicate what the complaints were.
McWade also suggested creating a way for Aurora town residents to talk about their issues. Chairman Pro-Tem Doyle Ferguson proposed a forum or a suggestion box to get ideas without having to create a board. Holmes said a couple of options were available to the board. One he mentioned was a non-profit, which he said would help “further things within the cemetery and serve as a supplemental revenue.”
Also during the meeting, the council discussed as to whether pigs should be allowed as pets within city limits. Holmes passed out copies of the city codes and the Planning and Zoning codes which related to agricultural activities allowed within city limits. He stated he had a concern as to what would happen if the city permitted animals on a case-by-case basis inside city limits and asked where would that stop. He also stated there is a clear prohibition on non-domesticated animals inside city limits, and pigs do not qualify as domesticated animals.
Councilman Stephen Wiles said there is a section in the codes which allows animals to be considered on a case-by-case basis. Holmes stated permits can be issued and approved by council, and if a summons is received, the city can work with City Attorney Ken Reynolds to make sure the permit is reviewed and discussed by council.
No action was taken on the cemetery board or as to whether to permit pigs to be kept as pets within city limits.
During the meeting, the council also voted on seven resolutions. Five of the resolutions authorized Holmes to execute agreements to purchase equipment for the city. Two of the resolutions authorized Holmes to purchase trucks; one for the Waste Water Department and another for the Parks Department. Also authorized was the purchase of two backhoes from Potter Equipment Company, Inc.; a 2019 Case 58SN Wide Track Backhoe and a 2019 Case 580 Super N Loader Backhoe. The other two resolutions authorized Holmes to solicit bids for trash services at all city-owned public facilities and to enter into an agreement with the Ozarks Regional YMCA to provide an adult softball program.


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