Local chicken debate takes a dramatic turn


NORTHWOOD, Iowa – One city council meeting earlier this week drew in a large crowd. That’s because several residents thought they’d be able to show evidence they say proves true some controversial actions of a few council members.

The root of where all the controversy began lies with a heated debate about chickens. Folks in Northwood want to see the ordinance against housing chickens in town limits eliminated.

Before the Monday meeting, they were rallying support by hosting a chicken barbeque.

What started as a friendly grill-out turned into one dramatic meeting. The city council decided not to play the recording received by Worth County Dispatchers.

Those in favor of chickens on local property say on the tape, some council members can be heard talking with law enforcement and filing a report of illegal chickens in Northwood.

The problem, according to those who wanted the tape played, is that these complaints usually go to city code enforcers, not police. Chief Deputy Dan Fank lays out the current procedure, which was reportedly not followed.

“The new procedure that’s been put into place, if they’re housing animals that are against the ordinances, they’re to contact the city council or City Hall and write a formal complaint and then if the city determines that there is a complaint there, they will send it on to that office for further investigation,” says Fank.

Once law enforcement investigated, they found no chickens on the property of the person accused.

City council members did not allow the recording to be played tonight, saying they wanted legal counsel to be there.

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