'Dog, be gone' Mt. Pleasant city council tells owner
By BROOKS TAYLOR
Mt. Pleasant News
“Rex” didn’t have a chance.
Steve Engberg said he was “flabbergasted” the Mt. Pleasant City Council was even considering it.
“Rex” is a seven-year-old German shorthaired pointer owned by the Mark Eads family of Mt. Pleasant. The dog has bitten a pair of people this year and the Mt. Pleasant Police Department has ordered the dog removed.
Mark Eads requested a hearing on the order and the Mt. Pleasant City Council during its regular meeting Wednesday night unanimously upheld the police department’s order to have the dog removed.
Councilman Engberg, who has been consistent in the past in his “one bite and you’re gone” dog belief, questioned why the order was even appealed.
“I am flabbergasted there is even an appeal,” he said. “I love my dog, but if he ever bites a person, he’s gone. Sometimes as a council we have to protect people from themselves. This dog has bit several people. I’m the ‘one bite and you’re gone’ guy. If my dog bit a five-year-old on the face, I couldn’t live with myself.”
The dog was ordered to be removed after it bit a five-year-old girl on May 16, 2013. The dog also allegedly bit a mail carrier on Feb. 5, 2013.
Eads did not deny either incident.
“The dog is not covered by your liability insurance,” pointed out Mayor Steve Brimhall. “I am surprised you weren’t sued for the second incident.”
Eads blamed the dog’s behavior on the family’s past living quarters, noting that since the family has relocated to a new home with a kennel, the dog’s behavior has shown vast improvement.
“I want to apologize to those people bitten,” Eads began. “We were in a temporary living situation, which was not a proper place to keep a dog. Since we moved, I have seen a complete change in the dog. He’s not a vicious animal but very protective of his space.
“If I felt he was a risk, I would remove the dog,” Eads continued. “I feel terrible about the incidents. I am appealing because I have a better living arrangement for the dog. He is a good family dog, and I have seen a complete change in the way the dog relates to people (since the family moved).”
In other agenda items, the council awarded a contract Visu-Sewer, Inc. of Pewaukee, Wis., for a sanitary sewer lining project. The firm bid $228,877 for the work, which was considerably below the engineer’s estimate of $300,000. Two other firms submitted bids ranging upward to $269,746.50.
The project is in the Mapleleaf Drive to Henry Street and Adams to Cherry Street area.
Warner Engineering of Mt. Pleasant was retained as the engineer for the Central Park sidewalk project. The project includes replacement of the sidewalks in central park and half the road beds on the 100 blocks of South Main, South Jefferson and West Monroe Streets. Warner will be paid $134,500 through the agreement.
Council members granted a one-year extension to Biomedical Synergies, a Wayzata, Minn., firm that hopes to locate a branch in Mt. Pleasant. The firm, which developed a software program used in the medical field, received a $36,000 grant upfront from the city in 2010. In return, the firm promised to bring 30 jobs to Mt. Pleasant within three years.
The software program tracks donor tissue for hospitals.
Paul E. Kozloski, chairman and CEO of Biomedical, said the company was unable to fulfill its part of the agreement due to a downturn in the economy and uncertainty over the Affordable Care Act.
“While we have clearly not created the jobs we had all anticipated, we have clearly not deviated from out commitment to the City of Mt. Pleasant and its investors, our shareholders,” Kozloski said in a letter to the Mt. Pleasant Area Chamber Alliance. “People know that we have not, nor will we waiver (sic) from our original intentions.”
The firm asked for a three-year extension but was granted just a one-year extension. “The council wants results as quickly as we can get them,” explained City Administrator Brent Schleisman.
Council members meet again in regular session Wednesday, July 10, at 7 p.m. in City Hall.