Dog license fees to increase in 2014

By Georgette Huff Mr. Thrifty Published:

Faced with necessary repairs at the dog pound as well as the still-unknown costs of implementing the state mandate to offer multi-year dog licenses, the Board of Commissioners approved a resolution based on a discussion with County Auditor Leroy VanHorne during the July 29 meeting, to increase dog license fees.

Beginning in January, 2014, per-dog fees will be $12 for a one-year license, $36 for three years or $120 for a "permanent" license. Kennel fees will increase to $60 per year.

In addition to the other upcoming expenses, VanHorne said the fee structure "historically" has been designed to allow enough carryover to buy a new truck every three years. While VanHorne stated a one-dollar increase probably would be enough to cover expected expenses with some remaining for the carryover fund; however, he said state regulations call for increases of at least $2 per year.

Following a discussion with Municipal Court Judge Gary Willen, the board approved a resolution asking the court to review 77 dog-license cases filed between Feb. 26 and July 24, 2013, and ordering refunds as appropriate for dog owners who show proof they purchased licenses within 72 hours of receiving citations.

Willen said letters outlining the plan will be mailed to individuals affected by the resolution. While the "maximum exposure" for refunds would be $7,700, dog warden Ken Ohler noted that some owners still have not purchased licenses, making them ineligible for refunds.

Ohler was instructed to check with the county prosecutor regarding citing non-compliant dog owners for second violations.

Commissioner Robert Wirkner said he has met with staff at the pound to review policies and procedures and "everybody is now on the same page" regarding implementation.

In other business, commissioners:

RECEIVED a dog pound report for July 22-26 showing 18 impounded, five adopted, five redeemed, none euthanized and three citations.

APPROVED a road-use maintenance agreement with Cardinal Gas Services, LLC for the Indian Creek Pipeline Phase II.

APPROVED 10 right-of-way permits.

APPROVED a change order granting a 45-day extension, to Sept. 14, 2013, due to weather conditions, for Edwards Tree Service to complete tree removal at Atwood Lake Resort.

HEARD appreciation from Lake Mohawk residents for the board's opposition to Gov. Kasich's proposal to impose a severance tax on oil and gas revenues.

During the July 25 meeting, commissioners:

APPROVED a contractual agreement for Help Me Grow in the amount of $37,854 and Centralized Coordination in the amount of $10,617 for the Carroll County Health Dept. and the Family and Children First Council for State Fiscal Year 2014.

APPROVED motions concerning the FCFC Assurance Statement for FCSS funding for SFY14 and approving the FCFC's SFY14 Operational Capacity Building Fund application for FCSS funding for SFY14. FCFC director John McCall explained the assurance statement outlines service coordination and provider details, while the Capacity Building Fund provides the council's only source of operating funds.

RECEIVED an update on the 211 program from Dept. of Jobs and Family Services Director Kate Offenberger, showing 33 referrals were made and sources for "gas money" was the most requested service.

APPROVED the promotion of Kimberly Cichon to Eligibility Referral Supervisor at $19.61 per hour as requested by Offenberger.

RECEIVED bids for projects at the Golden Age Retreat, including $20,100 with an alternate deduction of $4,700 from Trbovich Trucking and Excavating of Waynesburg for demolition of a building and a bid of $22,350 from Smith Piping Co., Inc. of Carrollton for relocation of a gas line. Bids were tabled for review until Aug. 8. Work must be completed by Sept. 30, 2013.

APPROVED a road-use maintenance agreement with Cardinal Gas Services, LLC for the Adams Gathering Line.

APPROVED 13 right-of-way permits.

HELD an hour-long executive session to discuss details of security arrangements and emergency response protocols for a public body or public office with EMA Director Tom Cottis with no action taken.

HELD an hour-long executive session with Regional Planning Director Aaron Dodds for contract negotiations with no action taken.

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