Commission offers proposal to society

Published 4:46 pm Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Crenshaw County Commission offered a proposal to the Crenshaw County Animal Society during Monday’s meeting.

If accepted, the CCAS would agree to accept all of the county’s stray animals in exchange for a facility and a budget of $20,000 per year for the next five years. The money will be taken from the county’s reserves.

The facility proposed is located on Highway 10 in Rutledge and was once the ConAgra building. Members of CCAS had expressed interest in the building, but it would need to be refurbished before it could be used as an animal shelter.

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According to the proposal, “pre-conditioning and ongoing maintenance of the facility” would be the sole responsibility of CCAS.

Commission Chair Sankey agreed with members of the CCAS that the proposed $20,000 would not be enough to maintain the facility or open its doors. He enlisted the help of Commissioner Merrill Sport, who is also a member of CCAS.

Sport will meet with town officials to see if they can add to the CCAS budget. Townships do not share in the legal obligation of countywide animal control, but many have said they would be willing to help.

“We know that town councils are willing to help but we also know that no one was going to make a move until we did,” Sankey said. “They are all looking for us to take the lead.”

Commissioners went over the proposal with county attorney Levi Nichols. Nichols said he had several concerns, most of all with liability.

“I’m not against the proposal,” he said after the meeting. “But, they need to be able to indemnify you if they take in a dog with a propensity to act bad and it does act bad. Anything that happens out there needs to be on them, not y’all.”

Nichols said he would compile a list of criteria CCAS would need to meet before funding could begin.

Commissioners agreed to offer up to $5,000 for renovating the building, provided receipts could be given. Once doors open, payments would be made quarterly.

Members of CCAS left no chair unused at the meeting. The nonprofit organization took the proposal under advisement.

Before leaving, CCAS member Kim Kent thanked commissioners for taking steps to solve the animal control issue.

“Thank you for what you are doing,” she said.