Nearly two months ago, letters were issued to all households in the Town of Norwood as an explanation of the town’s ordinances, which were approved by town trustees at a regular monthly meeting. Those ordinances apply to dog licensure, and also unsightly weeds and broken down vehicles on a property. The ordinances have been enforceable this summer since June 17, and town administrator Patti Grafmyer said warnings are being issued by both Marshal Mike Wilkerson and Deputy Travis Hardy.
Regarding dog licenses, it costs between $10 and $20 to register a dog. The letter also states that a leash law is in place, and dogs off leash are considered “running at large.” Fines exist for failing to comply with the town’s licensure or breaking the leash law.
Grafmyer said some people are responding.
“We did have a bit of an uptick in people getting dog licenses, and we still have some of those out there,” she said. “Marshal Mike is talking to the manager of Cottonwood Creek Estates. He’s making sure residents understand dogs have to be licensed.”
Grafmyer said dog licensing is about safety.
“For dogs, licensing is important, just so mostly when you are a good pet owner, you make sure that if your pet does get loose or is gone, that’s the best way to get that pet home,” she said. “The fact that we have that license, and that we require the rabies shot to get one, it’s two ways of checking.”
Grafmyer said though the town doesn’t have “mean dogs,” it’s also important to have safeguards in place because “things do happen.” The town has ways of keeping people safe if a dog bite happens.
“It’s about safety for our animals and our town inhabitants,” she said.
Regarding the weeds and the broken down cars, Grafmyer agreed the issue is taking care of the town and keeping up with recent beautification efforts. Per the ordinance, weeds are not to exceed 12 inches in height. Fines of up to $300 are possible for those not in compliance.
She added that in a drought year like Norwood is currently experiencing, and where wildfire is a serious danger, excessive weeds also pose a fire risk.
She said if a person didn’t have the money or tools to deal with weeds, the town could take care of the issue and bill the resident later. Still, she said that option creates more problems with paperwork and taxes for the town.
As far as abandoned vehicles or salvage-type materials go, households have a week to either move cars or register them and get them up to date. Towing, at a household’s expense, is possible for those violating the ordinance.
Grafmyer said most people comply after receiving a warning by Norwood’s law enforcement.
“Most people when contacted take care of it one way or another,” she said. “We have really good people living on this mesa.”
According to Grafmyer, several warnings have been issued by both officers. At this point, no formal citations have been written.