An ordinance which addresses pit bulls in the city is being re-examined more closely by the Philadelphia Mayor and Board of Aldermen.

Ward 4 Alderman Cecil Nichols told city officials last week that the ordinance needed to be better enforced.

"We have a bunch of dogs in Ward 4 that aren't in compliance with the ordinance," Nichols said.

He said pit bulls were roaming neighborhoods unmuzzled and needed to be picked up by the city and impounded until owners could come in compliance with the ordinance.

The current ordinance states that dangerous dogs, such as pit bulls, are not permitted to be outside of a proper enclosure unless they are muzzled and restrained by a leash. The owner must also make sure that a proper enclosure is set up for the dog along with proper vaccinations.

Anyone found in violation could be fined and have their dog impounded until the owner complies.

Nichols said a proper enclosure for a pit bull was one that was completely separated from any other dog.

Police Chief Dickie Sistrunk said in the past, officers had elected not to impound pit bulls due to a lack of proper housing.

"We don't call Larry [McKinney, head of Animal Control] to come get these dogs because we got nowhere to put them," Sistrunk said.

He told the board that if the dogs were not picked up when a violation had occurred then the problems would just continue.

Nichols agreed, saying the law needed to be enforced.

This led to a discussion about the need for a facility to house the animals.

"With the current facility, you could build six more cages and we'll have them filled tomorrow," said Sistrunk.

Suggestions made for a better facility ranged from just adding more kennels to special walled off cages so the dogs could not see each other.

"If they even see another dog, they'll kill themselves trying to get the other dog," Sistrunk said.

Ward 2 alderman Roy White said that if the board proceeded to look into a better animal control housing facility he only had one request: That the officers not give out warnings.

If an officer finds a dog in violation of the ordinance, White said it should be taken away.

Sistrunk agreed.

"If you built it, we'll keep it full," he said.

Aldermen said they would address the matter at a future meeting.

In other action, aldermen:

• Approved the claims docket.

• Paid Tyler Construction $42,483.29 and Waggoner Engineering $8,187 for services performed on the fueling facility project at the airport.

• Paid Neel-Schaffer $2,460 for professional services, All South Construction $416.50 for rip rap and G A Transport $600 for hay. The work was performed on the landfill and is reimbursable from grant monies.

• Approved for aldermen Cecil Nichols, Joe Tullos, Janice Payne, Roy White and Mayor James Young to attend the Mississippi Municipal League's Mid-Winter Conference on Jan. 25-27 in Jackson and pay registration fees and travel expenses.

• Approved a certification fee of $150 from Mississippi Municipal Clerks Association.

• Approved for the police chief to attend the Chief's Winter Conference in Jackson on Dec. 13-17 and pay travel expenses and registration fee.

• Approve a permit for AT&T to place a buried cable along and/or across Lewis Avenue and Gum Street.

• Approved for the mayor to sign a resolution to apply for a Community Development Block Grant for building improvements to an existing city owned building.

• Entered into an executive session to discuss a personnel issue and an industrial prospect.

• Employed Mallory Madison temporarily part-time to help in the court clerk's office.

Set a hearing on a request to rezone a parcel of property north of Chestnut Street in order for the owner to move in a manufactured home.

• Accepted the resignation of Norris Young from the fire department, effective Dec. 24.

• Authorized the mayor and Aldermen White to take an industrial trip to New York Dec. 16-18.