By Timothy Cox
MENDON -- Village officials have struggled the past few years to get a handle on junk cars, overgrown lawns and dilapidated buildings. Now they have a new problem -- chickens.
Mayor William Buffenbarger told council members meeting Tuesday he is prepared to file a legal complaint against an East Market Street property owner for keeping two dozen or so chickens outside the residence. He did not name the property owner.
The mayor said he plans to pursue the case as a violation of the town's nuisance ordinance. Village officials said they believe chickens are banned under a separate ordinance, although no one has yet tracked down the actual legislation.
Buffenbarger said if the chickens are not gone by today, he will photograph the property and pursue charges. The mayor said he tried to talk with the resident about removing the poultry, but said the man vowed to meet the village in court.
"I hear them crow in the morning when I come home from work," Buffenbarger said, adding the chickens sometimes escape their pen and run into the street. A number of complaints have come in about the birds, Buffenbarger said. Even some folks from out of town have complained about the constant clucking as they watched their children play ball on a nearby diamond.
Buffenbarger said there also are several large dogs housed at the property, but said he believes the resident has a kennel license from the county.
Council member Roy "Butch" Davis wondered what other barnyard animals might be at the home.
"If he's so fond of chickens, he might have a cow in there," Davis quipped.