County approves deal to reduce animal shelter fines

Walter Marshall

County approves deal to reduce animal shelter fines
September 15
06:15 2016



County commissioners ratified a deal to cut the state fines against the Forsyth County Animal Control.

The county animal shelter originally had $5,200 in civil penalties resulting from state inspections in March and April, when staff couldn’t produce the proper records for euthanasia and veterinary care for some animals at the shelter. The county has been negotiating and working with the Animal Welfare Section of the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to lower the fines.

The county was able to produce most of the requested records, participated in a review process  for the shelter and has made changes to its record keeping processes.

The changes at the shelter resulted in the state agreeing to cut the penalties down to $2,100.

In the last few months, numerous residents have used the commissioners’ public comment session to talk about animals that they said had been improperly euthanized or that didn’t receive proper care at the shelter.

After the meeting, County Commissioner Walter Marshall said he supported the deal, and that the penalties drew attention to a problem that the county has worked to fix.

“I think the state is right in doing what they did,” he said.

Marshall said that, while he didn’t believe every claim of mistakes at the shelter was true, he did hope to see improvements at the shelter, which he said is short staffed.

County staff is currently looking at ways to increase call response time from Animal Control.

The commissioners voted on numerous other items including:

*Commissioners approved a contract with T2PM for logistical planning and implementation for the post-construction move back into the Central Library building, which is expected to reopen in 2017.

The commissioners are scheduled to tour the construction site today. The public will get its own look at the site during an American Heart Association fundraiser that will be held there next week.

*Also ratified was a new policy that lets commissioners participate remotely in their meetings in case of illness, disability, work conflict, emergency situation or a conflict with other county meetings. It can only be used if a quorum of the board is physically present. Currently, the county only has the ability for a commissioner to call into the meeting with no video accompanying the audio. The measure was requested by Commissioner Don Martin, who has had work conflicts with meetings.

*A 4-cent increase in the rate for garbage service for Forsyth residents in non-incorporated areas passed a first reading. The rate increase in the voluntary service used by 13,000 households is a result of increased tipping fees at the city landfill that the county’s garbage collecting contractors must pay. It’ll need to pass a second vote on Sept. 26 before it goes into effect.

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Todd Luck

Todd Luck

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