It seems there may be a light at the end of the long tunnel of controversy that has engulfed the City of Auburn and its Amish neighbors the past several years.
According to Auburn Police Chief Larry Jones, a few Amish buggies have been seen traveling through town with collection devices attached behind the horses. These are used to catch manure, keeping it off the streets.
After many citations, court rulings, fines and back and forth debate, it seems that some in the Amish community around the city of Auburn are now complying with its laws.
Horse droppings have been a problem the city has been facing for years. With the growing Amish community in Auburn and Simpson County, travel through Auburn has increased over the past few years and so have horse droppings.
In June 2014, the Auburn City Council voted unanimously to amend its animal ordinance to include collection devises to capture excrement, and prevent it from landing on city streets and parking areas. The council took action after a lengthy dilemma involving the Amish community who drive their buggies with horses through town leaving behind an unpleasant aftermath.
Chief Jones brought up the good news at the Monday, Oct. 12 meeting of the city council. He stated he believed some of the Amish were making their own devices. One in particular is Amos Mast, who has been cited several times over the past year for not having the devise, even going as far as serving jail time for it.
“I stopped Amos the other day and he had this device on his buggy,” said Jones. However, Jones also reported he had cited another Amish individual twice since then for not having a device.
It is the city’s hopes this controversy will soon be over.
“I am happy that there seems to finally be a resolution to this problem,” said Auburn Mayor Mike Hughes. “The Amish are our friends and our neighbors. No one likes a disagreement with your neighbors. I am really glad to see we are finding some common ground here. We never wanted to see them go to jail, but we did need to stick to the laws that were passed, and needed to look out for all the citizens in our city.”
Hughes said some of the Amish seem to be realizing it’s not so much to ask to keep the manure off the street, and he hopes before long all will do so as well.
“At least two of our Amish neighbors are using these capturing devices they have made, and I hope others follow. The ones we have seen are being made by our local Amish neighbors. They are not massed produced. Our ordinance says properly fitted devices, not a specific kind, so if they work, that is all we can ask.”
To contact Chris Cooper, email [email protected] or call 270-726-8394.