NEW ULM - Chammy, the horse stabled at the 1604 S. Payne home of Charles and Roberta Hintz will not be evicted, according to action by the New Ulm City Council on Tuesday.
The horse will be allowed to stay as long as the manure problem is addressed and while the Council revises city codes to deal with the situation.
The Hintzes consider the horse an attraction for city residents and visitors. They were served a notice by the City of New Ulm that the horse must be removed because its presence violated city ordinances on keeping livestock and for "excessive manure."
A large crowd attended the Council meeting in support of the letting the horse stay. During the public comment segment, many voiced their opinion that the horse was an institution similar to a historic building. Many called the horse a symbol of New Ulm's history. The Hintzes did not attend.
Councilor Ken RockVam, who has the horse located in his ward, initially offered approval of the motion to allow the horse to stay.
City Attorney Hugh Nierengarten slowed the Council's proceedings by reminding members that the current New Ulm City Charter didn't give them the power to give exception for the horse. An amendment to city ordinances would be necessary.
Councilor Ruth Ann Webster commented that she had no issue with the horse, but she was concerned about giving exceptions to any city rules for just one individual. She pointed to the City's recent removal of alpacas from another residence due to violations of the same ordinance.
"We didn't give [that owner] special treatment. We didn't say tell him that he had to be popular enough to not have to follow the rules," said Webster, "People should be treated the same no matter how many friends you have."
RockVam said he favored an exception only for Chammy the horse, with the stipulation that it would end when the horse died.
Nierengarten suggested amending the ordinance was the only effective way to proceed. He also suggested the Council consider whether it was interested in expanding the exception to other types of animals. The Council generally agreed with the proposal and moved to pick it up at the next Council meeting.