Scio Township is looking to address pet waste in Honey Creek

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What to do about the pet waste impacting Honey Creek in Scio Township?

That question was brought back before the Scio Township Board again at its Jan. 26 meeting. This topic has been discussed various times over the past year and now it’s being revisited by the new township board with the potential idea of establishing a Pet Waste Ordinance.

Some background about this was given in a report put together by township clerk Jessica Flintoft.

“The Honey Creek, which flows through Scio Township and into the Huron River, is listed by the State of Michigan as “impaired” due to elevated E. coli levels,” Flintoft said in the report. “The Huron River Watershed Council has conducted a study that revealed that pet waste accounts for a preventable portion of the E. coli in the Honey Creek.”

She further said, “In an effort to do our part to reduce bacterial contamination, Scio Township is proposing an ordinance that requires pet owners to pick up their pet’s waste when it is deposited on public or private property owned by others. Although there are enforcement mechanisms in the proposed ordinance, the principal benefit of the ordinance will be its very existence, which property owners can use to educate their neighbors.”

In follow up to the meeting discussion on this, township supervisor Will Hathaway said his sense is that board trustees were generally supportive of the concept.

Back in September, the Scio Township Board held a public hearing on this ordinance, which saw some questions from residents and one comment in support of the proposed ordinance.

Ric Lawson of the Huron River Watershed Council also provided a comprehensive report on need for such an ordinance at the meeting in the fall.

“At that time, the Board was generally supportive of the ordinance,” Flintoft said in her report.

However, it still remains a discussion item, but that could change.

“I expect that we'll bring back the ordinance as an action item,” Hathaway said. “It isn't urgent, so we may include it in the larger re-codification project that we'll undertake later in the year.”

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