Mini pigs may be coming to MC

October 7, 2018

MICHIGAN CITY — Miniature pigs could be coming to a Michigan City home near you.

The pot-bellied pets may be added to the list of animals allowed within city limits if an ordinance introduced at a meeting of the Michigan City Common Council on Tuesday is approved.

The council met with the Animal Control Board recently to amend various sections of the municipal code on animals, and determined a mini pig could be a suitable pet for city residents if:

n Owners maintain annual animal licenses for their pigs.

n Pigs are spayed or neutered.

n A veterinary exam is conducted at least 60 days prior to the expiration of an animal license.

n The pig’s weight does not exceed 120 pounds.

n Only one pig per household.

n Pigs must be microchipped.

n Pigs must be kept indoors.

Other potential changes to the municipal code section on animals include the definition of “adequate shelter” for animals that do not reside indoors, especially during inclement weather; the creation of a provision making it illegal to feed stray animals by leaving open containers of food outside for more than two hours; and the establishment of a fine for general animal care requirements.

The council will hold a public hearing on the ordinance at its Oct. 16 meeting.

In other business:

n The council held public hearings on appropriations and tax rates, and several ordinances setting annual salaries for various city officials and employees – all to be included in the 2019 budget.

Council President Don Przybylinski said he will not support a raise for council members as proposed, and noted he will donate to charity any extra money he receives if the ordinance passes as is.

His brother, former councilman Paul Przybylinski, spoke during public comment to ask that the mayor’s vehicle be considered in his compensation packet, noting it is a fringe benefit not addressed in the proposed ordinance.

The council will vote on the proposed salaries, appropriations and tax rates at its Oct. 16 meeting.

n An ordinance on first reading Tuesday proposes an appropriation of $30,400 from the Riverboat fund for costs incurred by the Fire Merit Commission for academy training for new hires, and for consulting costs associated with promotional testing.

The council will hold a public hearing on the matter Oct. 16.

n Michigan City Fire Chief Randy Novak updated the council on MCFD overtime pay, noting that the addition of six new firefighters to the force has made a “dramatic” change.

According to Novak, the MCFD paid out a total of $60,802 in overtime in the third quarter. Of that amount, $38,945 was paid for 55 shifts of overtime worked between July 1 and Aug. 10.

However, overtime paid between Aug. 11, when the new firefighters began working, and Tuesday equaled $8,804 for 11 days.

n The council approved the MCFD’s purchase of a new pumper truck for $675,000 to replace a 17-year-old engine that was taken out of commission last month.

n The council unanimously approved a resolution that approves the Plan Commission’s resolution approving the Redevelopment Commission’s resolution expanding the Urban Renewal Area TIF.

Alan Sirinek, attorney for the Redevelopment Commission, clarified that the city is not seeking to acquire any of the properties on the amended acquisition list. However, by adding them to that list, he said, it would allow the city to negotiate with property owners should officials ever want to acquire those properties, most of which are commercial or industrial.

n Novak informed the council that the MCFD would like to install a Safe Haven Baby Box at Station 3 near the Michigan City Municipal Airport at a cost of $20,000.

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