ball python

MUSCATINE, Iowa —  Before Muscatine City Council members wrap up their meeting tonight, they’ll have to wrap their minds around an issue important to a local pet owner.

Should ball pythons be allowed to call Muscatine home?

The Muscatine City Council will make that call tonight.

The City Council’s regular meeting begins at 7 p.m. at City Hall, 215 Sycamore St.

According to a memo by Police Chief Brett Talking-ton, Anthony Wolfmueller had two ball pythons at his residence and was ordered to remove them Jan. 26. Having those snakes is in violation of city ordinance 4-1-1 (F), Talkington said.

Wolfmueller is appealing the order to remove the snakes or have them destroyed. That appeal goes straight to the city’s highest body, the City Council.

Dangerous animals are defined in the ordinance as “any animal which is not naturally tame or gentle; which is of a wild nature or disposition; and which is capable of killing, inflicting serious injury upon, or causing disease among human beings or domestic animals and having known tendencies as a species to do so.”

Snakes that are “venomous or constrictors” are deemed to be dangerous, according to the ordinance.

Other business

The City Council is scheduled to:

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♦ Consider a request for the use of city property on the Muscatine riverfront for Great River Days July 23-29. City staff recommends approval with a few stipulations, including the development of a site plan to include a beer tent not in violation of city code.

♦ Hear an update from the Sister Cities organization.

♦ Consider the appointment of former councilwoman Dyann Roby to the Planning and Zoning Commission.

♦ Vote to set 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 16, for a hearing on the West Hill Phase 1 sewer separation project. The first phase of the $50 million project will begin this spring.

♦ Consider an updated policy for the examination and copying of public records. The policy puts in writing the city’s current practice.

♦ Take up a proposed amendment to the Mississippi Drive Corridor Project that it tabled during the Jan. 19 meeting.

♦ Discuss a change order for engineering fees for the runway lighting project at the Muscatine Municipal Airport.

Council members will also consider a $12,684.04 contract with Anderson-Bogert Engineers and Surveyors for the airport’s obstruction survey and removal project.

♦ Consider a $45,000 engineering study as part of a proposal to build a connector between Iowa Highway 38 and U.S. Highway 61. City staff and the City Council have been working on different scenarios for possible future expansion of the city’s corporate limits, including about 1,200 acres bordered by the two highways and 180th Street,

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