Animal control and the county dump

Published 4:00 pm Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Animals on the loose in the county might soon find themselves caught by the county animal control officer.

Animal control is not just a city problem, but without an animal control officer in the county, the problem is hard to resolve outside city limits.

Sheriff David Allison discussed the topic with the board after District IV Supervisor J. Patrick Lee brought up the need for an animal control officer. Lee said he heard of a recent report of investigators having to respond to a nuisance dog. Lee said that is a waste of resources. Having an animal control officer would free investigators to handle nuisance dogs.

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Lee said in the past he has tried to ask Picayune to send their animal control officer to cases just outside of the city limits, but the city said it could not.

Allison suggested teaming an animal control officer with the current litter control officer. A person and a forfeiture vehicle have already been picked out for the position but Allison said no money has been budgeted for the expense.

The board decided to discuss the matter further when more information on the expense is established.

Discussion about the board accepting a tonnage host fee check from Waste Management for $15,023.60 brought up an old topic, county wide garbage collection. Lee suggested allowing a local expert come to speak with the board about the landfill and how long it might be before Waste Management would have to request another expansion for Central Landfill in Millard.

Board president Anthony Hales said there would need to be further discussion on the matter only if the current contract with Waste Management were to change. While Hales agrees that the expert Lee refers to, Randy Holland, is knowledgeable, many times when the topic comes up a number of self-professed experts show up wanting to share their opinion.

Hancock County residents pay about $60 a year for county wide garbage collection, Lee said. Rates in Pearl River County for independent contractors to pick up residential garbage currently average about $20 per month. Hales said the county could establish county wide pick up, but it might involve a millage increase or a fee might have to be collected.

District III Supervisor Hudson Holliday said he is concerned that if the county goes to county wide pickup, then local independent haulers would be out of work. County resident Donna Knezevich said she was not interested in the county becoming involved in garbage collection, or making more regulations.

“Even if you get additional services, I’m looking more at what you can cut rather than what you can add,” Knezevich said.

Holliday agreed that the county should not attempt to govern any more than it is now.

“Government is here to service the people, not take their rights away from them,” Holliday said.

No action was taken on the matter.

A minor fender bender between a county vehicle and a private vehicle on Oct. 22, brought an estimate for some repair work before the board. John Sherman, County Safety Director and Inventory Clerk, said the accident involved a pot hole patcher truck and a Ford truck driven by a private individual. The pot hole patcher apparently struck the other truck causing some paint damage. The private individual also attempted to turn in an estimate on a new rim, though the board could not see how the accident could have caused the damage described, especially enough to warrant a new wheel.

Holliday asked Board Attorney Joe Montgomery if the individual would be able to attest honestly to the wheel damage being caused by the accident with the pot hole patcher.

“Her conscience would have to be her guide,” Mongomery said.

Hales, Lee and Holliday all thought that the wheel damage reported by the individual could not have been caused by the accident, so the board only approved fixing the paint damage.

The board went into executive session to discuss pending litigation and personnel matters. County Administrator Adrain Lumpkin said the board decided to settle a bankruptcy lawsuit between the county and Ryan’s in Picayune for payment of taxes and approved hiring Gunn and Hicks to help represent the county in a pending jail lawsuit.

In other business the board;

— Approved the docket.

— Tabled appointments to the Pearl River Community College board in Districts II and III.

— Acknowledged a contractual agreement with Adolescent Offender’s Program to hire a licensed clinician to work with children in the program.

The next board meeting will be at 9 a.m. Nov. 24.