SCARBOROUGH (AP) — Scarborough voters will get to decide whether unleashed dogs are allowed on town property.

The town council this month approved an ordinance that requires dogs to be leashed year-round on all town property after a loose dog killed a protected piping plover chick on Pine Point Beach in July. At the time, the dog was allowed to be unleashed.

The council changed the law in response to the threat of a $12,000 federal fine. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Scarborough has ignored repeated warnings about allowing unleashed dogs on beaches during plover nesting season.

The town clerk Monday verified nearly 2,900 signatures from voters opposed to the rule.

Town officials hope to hold the referendum in December.

A repeal could make the town liable for the $12,000 fine.

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