BRECKENRIDGE HILL, MO. (KTVI) – A debate over chickens took the better part of an hour during the Breckenridge Hills city council meeting on Monday night.
A number of families already own chickens in the city even though an ordinance prohibits them from doing so. The old ordinance had not been enforced.
On Monday, the council voted 6-2 against a proposed ordinance that would have allowed residents to own chickens.
One council member called the animals, "nasty."
But supporters say a small number of chickens make less waste then a 40 pound dog.
"For us they're not farm animals," said chicken owner Penny Kriz. "They're a way to reduce our carbon footprint."
Kriz's chickens lay 10 eggs a day. She says the food helps neighbors and family members save money.
"They`re a way to teach our children and neighborhood kids where their food comes from."
Chicken owner Becca Miller left the meeting in tears over the thought that she might be forced to get rid of her chickens.
Supporters now say they will try and force a city-wide election on the issue. One council member suggested that might cost the city $6,000.
If the city passed an ordinance allowing the chickens, supporters argue that the city could have collected money from chicken permits.
"Instead of making money from the citizens paying for chickens, we're going to put it on the ballot and cost the city $6,000"
One council member suggested holding a city wide town hall meeting to learn more about both sides of the issue.