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Condemned property, possible new pet license tag discussed at Tuesday Batesville City Council meet

A lengthy agenda was worked through Tuesday evening at a regular meeting of the Batesville City Council. This was the first time since the pandemic started that the council met together at city hall to handle business.

Animal Control Officer Ross Nelson presented the council with a new pet license tag that employs a QR (quick response) code that stores pet info rather than the current system of serial numbers.

The tag, made by Pet Hub Solutions, is used in many cities around the country. When utilized, the tag could allow anyone that finds a wandering animal with a tag to scan the QR code with their smartphone camera to receive the identities of the pet and the owner — which could make reuniting animals with owners easier and cut down on the number of animals taken to animal control.

According to Nelson, the tags will cost the city about the same as the current stamped metal tags and could, in the long term, save the city money if fewer animals end up at the city’s shelter. Batesville would be the first municipality in Arkansas to adopt the usage of tags by Pet Hub Solutions.

In other business, eight properties were also discussed for condemnation at Tuesday night’s meeting. The council ultimately only proceeded with seven of those properties.

Only two of the eight properties were questioned by the public about condemnation.

The owners of the property at 1395 Davis Lane came forward at the public meeting and requested more time to remedy issues and gather personal items. When they purchased the property, they were under the impression it lies outside of Batesville city limits.

And a couple renting the property at 725 26th St. had recently learned of the condemnation being pursued and approached the council noting they had an agreement with the brother of the deceased property owner to “rent-to-own” said property.

The property, listed in records to be owned by the late Anthony Lyons, was not willed to any particular person, thus all rights and interests of the property were assigned to the Lyons’ mother.

Before condemnation, the city contacted Lyons’ mother as required by law and were told the responsible party had no intention of remedying any issues with the property.

According to the couple, they have paid $2,500 in down payment and then $400 per month in rent to Lyons’ brother, Joseph Lyons, for approximately six months.

The couple also found out recently that Joseph Lyons is incarcerated.

The couple asked for advisement on the next steps since they have no interest in the property and seem to have been duped out of money and could now be losing their residence. They were advised to attempt to contact Lyons’ mother about the property and to possibly consider legal action.

Prior to concluding the meeting, Mayor Rick Elumbaugh remarked on the importance of remaining vigilant in COVID-19 precautions as the state continues to climb higher in the number of cases and deaths.

Elumbaugh also highlighted the start date for White River Wonderland which is slated for the day before Thanksgiving, Nov. 25.

The next council meeting is set for Dec. 15 at the Batesville Municipal Building at 5:30 p.m.

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