Plover leaders hear from public on keeping chickens
By Taylor Hale
On May 19, village board members heard statements from the public on the pros and cons of keeping chickens within the village.
Village Administrator Dan Mahoney said in a May 14 interview that chickens have been a long-debated topic within Plover, and he was eager to hear the community’s input.
The Plover Board room was nearly filled with guests during the discussions, with locals on both sides voicing their concerns over the topic.
“I think people should be allowed to do something good for their families and to be able to provide food for their families,” said resident Alex Hoeft. “We’re not talking about raising a huge farm in our backyard. We just want the benefits of the chickens, to have them to raise for the family, to use for the garden and eggs.”
Hoeft is a vocal proponent of amending the village’s ordinances to allow the keeping of chickens. She sees them as a way to educate children on responsibility and the cycle of life.
Hoeft was joined by other residents who pushed for allowing chickens, noting that if a person raising chickens would break any rules or regulations, their livestock would be taken away.
Surrounding municipalities like Whiting, the town of Hull, Stevens Point, and others allow chickens, many restricting the keeping of roosters due to noise levels. Those advocating for an ordinance change added that chickens do not attract additional attention from predators, and their smell is minimal compared to other animals.
Those in opposition to the chickens said that the animals could cause a disturbance in a non-rural area. Others feared that policing poorly kept chicken coups could be costly to the village.
“We have limited resources, our taxes are high, to begin with. We don’t want resources being pulled for that, and we are going to need to police it or enforce (the keeping of chickens,)” said resident Mike Albinger.
Those in opposition noted that if an ordinance change does take place, lot size should factor into the number of chickens a villager could keep.
“It sounds like the people here are very diligent in taking care of their chickens, the problem is what happens when people aren’t? Who’s going to bear the burden,” said a concerned resident during the public hearing.
No action was taken during the listening session. Plover leaders will take the input given into consideration and decide whether to further pursue the possibility of allowing chickens within the village.
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