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Valley council hears second request for chicken ordinance

VALLEY — The Valley City Council on Monday heard a second request to adopt an ordinance permitting city residents to have backyard chickens. Justin Broyles made a previous request several weeks ago, but the council has yet to take any action on the request.

Mayor Leonard Riley said that he would bring it up for consideration provided three members of the council told him they were in favor of it. Thus far, council members, Jim Jones and Cassie Carlisle have indicated support for such an ordinance. Several other council members have told the mayor they are opposed to it.

Council Member Jim Clark was not present for the meeting. In speaking to the council, Broyles said that he was praying for Clark’s continuing health.

“I look forward to seeing him again in front of me,” he said. “I want to congratulate him and Jim Jones for winning reelection this year and Kendall Andrews on his appointment to the seat of my district.”

With the election over, Broyles said that he wanted to revisit his request to have an ordinance allowing backyard chickens in Valley.

“The City of Valley was, is and always will be a city with an agricultural history,” Broyles said. “Chickens would be a great way to revitalize that tradition.”

Broyles noted that the Chambers County Extension Service has supported such programs as 4H and FFA in the county. Broyles said that Extension Service personnel have told him that they’d love to have more participation in their programs.

“They see Valley as a large, untouched source of children eager to learn more about animal husbandry,” he said. “Valley is one of very few municipalities in the area that does not allow chickens in the city limits, proving there is precedence across Lee, Chambers and Troup counties for chickens in the city limits, with virtually non-existent issues regarding enforcement and noise complaints.”

Broyles said there were close to a dozen feed and farm supply stores within a short drive of Valley.

“They are run by small businessmen and women who are our neighbors and friends,” he said. “These men and women would benefit greatly from the additional revenue from chicken supplies, feed, medication and the like.”

“Although some of us are of the opinion that the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic is behind us, I’m sure all of you present would agree that the effects of it will not be easily forgotten. I remember as it were yesterday the anxiety, confusion and frustration walking into a grocery store only to be greeted by empty shelves primarily of such staples as eggs. Although a change of the ordinance would not solve this issue completely, I’m sure the children growing up in these troubled times would appreciate knowing even a small way to help this big problem.”

Broyles added that with permitting and vetting of those wishing to have chickens, all city residents would benefit from it with very little burden on the city’s budget.

“It would give me no greater joy than to be able to collect eggs from birds in the city I love,” Broyles said. “I believe in the Valley and love it.”