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CHICKEN ORDINANCES

A child of Tim and Amanda Munz holds one of the four hen chicks that has been added to their backyard menagerie in Reedsburg. Waupun is nearing completion of paperwork and fee requirements, and will soon begin issuing permits to those who are interested. 

WAUPUN — What did Tuesday’s Common Council meeting have to do with the price of eggs in Waupun?

Well, unlike the price of tea in China, the cost of a permit could have a big impact on the feasibility of keeping chickens for the relatively small number of residents interested in doing so.

Council members considered the issue and eventually came to a consensus on what would be affordable for the maximum of 10 people who will be allowed to have up to four chickens. Approval of the measure was made possible by Mayor Julie Nickel’s tiebreaking vote on June 11.

Area communities charge various fees, ranging from a pre-inspection fee of $145 and a permit charge of $24 in Appleton; to a $50 initial review fee, a $25 review fee for changes to construction or size of coop or run or location on premises, and a $25 permit fee from Aug. 1 through July 31 in Monroe.

Waupaca charges a $50 initial fee and a $20 renewal permit fee. Watertown charges $50 per permit. Plymouth charges a $27.50 permit fee. Fox Lake charges a $15 permit fee, which runs Jan. 1 to Dec. 31.

Council member Jason Westphal proposed following Fox Lake’s lead, with the building inspector to handle the coop and caging inspection for a $15 fee. In Waupun, a building permit ($50) would have to be obtained for construction and/or expansion of the coop and caged space.

The fee structure will be incorporated into the application form that is still being composed. Permits will be issued on a first-come, first served basis. A waiting list will be kept if more than 10 people apply.

Waupun Assistant Fire Chief/Fire Inspector Mike Beer will be in charge of enforcing chicken keeping regulations, with assistance from the Waupun Police Department if needed. Waupun Building Inspector Sue Leahy will be in charge of inspecting coops and enclosures when structures are constructed and/or enlarged.

City Clerk Angie Hull reported that no one has requested a permit since the move to allow chickens was approved. Vanderkin indicated that some people have already obtained chickens, and urged them to obtain a permit as soon as possible.

Council approval of the final permit, fee and inspection details will be considered at a Council of the Whole meeting scheduled for July 29 at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall, 201 E. Main St.

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