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Kerens council hears request to allow city hens

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KERENS–Kerens City Council met Dec. 8 and considered a citizens’ request to change its municipal prohibition on keeping chickens within the city limits, but tabled its decision to seek more information.
Residents speaking to the council said Kerens is the only city in Navarro County to ban hens, referencing an ordinance outlawing all chickens that has been on the books since 2012. Those citizens did not want to allow roosters in Kerens, but said raising hens would let people grow their own food during the pandemic, help the town retain its rural roots and provide a learning experience for families, among other reasons.
In other action, council voted 3-1 to allow a mobile home at 500 N. Goodman Ave., which requires a specific-use permit because of Kerens’ prohibition against locating such structures inside the city.
Council also voted to accept an audit of the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2019, which showed a $114,000 increase in cash and investments, to $225,520. The audit also documented that the city reduced its debt by more than $97,000 and that the city’s water and sewer fund finished in the black – which auditors believe is a first for City of Kerens finances – by about $16,000.
Also approved was the police department’s annual asset forfeiture report, the fund for which Chief Roy Ivey said held about $17,000. Council also voted to enter an election administration contract with Navarro County, which in the past has cost Kerens $2,500.