Commission takes high bid on animal control shelter
Pocahontas County Commissioners voted to accept the high bid for the ﾓPocahontas County Welfare Operation (Animal Shelter)ﾔ for the fiscal year beginning July 1.
Commissioners gave the nod to the newly-formed Pocahontas County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals for a price of $79,400, $74,400 of which will go to Allegheny Recreational Center which now operates a shelter in conjunction with the Pocahontas County Humane Society.
Former county animal control and humane officer Sandy Mallow bid $47,500, a difference of nearly $32,000.
SPCA president Chris Weber said the new organization will take care of the animals and seek to educate people about animal care.
Humane society members will continue to do their work with spaying and neutering animals, society treasurer Jane Dumire told commissioners. Dumire said one reason the humane society did not bid on the shelter because it called for 25 dogs, which she said is ﾓan unrealistic number.ﾔ It is not unrealistic for the shelter to have twice that many animals, Dumire said. Further, she said animals may be in shelter for up to five weeks while their vaccinations and other medical treatment are brought up to date.
Dumire said the humane society took 11 dogs from ARC Tuesday morning and has taken 14 cats and several kittens to rescue in recent weeks, as well.
ﾓThe reason the humane society did not choose to contract again with ARC is we just didnﾒt have the funding, which is coming solely from our efforts,ﾔ Dumire said.
ARC is contracted with the humane society to provide those services at a cost of $17,500 for six months. Further, ARC operates in the old Hanover Shoe Factory, which is owned by the county. The commission funded upgrades at the building, as well.
The commissionﾠ also funds a humane officer and vehicle in the sheriffﾒs department dedicated to animal control.
Sheriff David Jonese will work with the SPCA and ARC to work on criteria for open adoptions and an agreement between the animal shelter and the sheriffﾒs department for access to the shelter.
County coordinator Jay Miller said heﾒd worked with the SPCA to help them ﾓget their proposal together.ﾔ
Commissioners said he had done that as an individual and not as a county employee.
Commission president Martin Saffer said he saw ﾓno conflict of interestﾔ in Millerﾒsﾠ assisting the SPCA with their bid.
Commission appoints Bernier to SWA
Longtime Solid Waste Authority foe Doug Bernier will take a seat at the table June 30 after commissioners appointed him to the SWA on a 2-1vote.
Saffer voted against the appointment, citing the financial well-being of the authority.
Bernier refuses to pay the annual solid waste fee, but said he has been in compliance with the state code since 2007 because he takes his trash to the landfill each month on the free day.
He allowed that it cost more and was more trouble to do that than it is to pay the fee.
Bernier is a proponent of usage-sensitive fees; he also attends nearly every SWA meeting as a citizen. Bernier said he wants to work on methods to extend the use of the landfill.
Commissioners chose him over county sanitarian David Henderson, whose term was ending. Henderson was visibly perturbed by the turn of events, noting that he pays his solid waste fee without question.
Henderson said Bernier and John Leyzorek, who also threw his name into the hat for consideration, were only looking out for themselves and not the best interest of the county because both oppose the fees.
ﾓI think this really sends a bad message,ﾔ Henderson said.
Griffith, who nominated Bernier, said she is not advocating people to ignore the fee, but said she is ﾓwholeheartedly in favor of diversityﾔ on the SWA board.
SWA chair Ed Riley, who was roundly excoriated by Leyzorek and Bernier, said he is willing to work with Bernier, just as he had with Leyzorek when he served on the SWA; however, he said he didnﾒt think the commissioners understood what usage-sensitive rates would do to county residents.
ﾓIt does have a great bearing on our future,ﾔ he said.
Planning to Plan to have potluck
Commissioners will host a potluck dinner at the Pocahontas County Opera House in Marlinton on June 28 at 5:30 p.m. Saffer said he wants people to sign up for a task force to begin the planning discussion. Heﾒs already had one taker.
Marlinton mayor Dennis Driscoll said he wanted to be a part of that task force.
An invitation to all county residents will run in next weekﾒs paper.
In other action, the commission:
ﾕdid not take action concerning delinquent taxes being taken over by the state auditorﾒs office because county clerk Sandy Friel did not petition them to do so, a requirement of the new statute.
ﾕagreed to add the regional Tobacco Prevention Coalition Coordinator to the countyﾒs PEIA policy.
ﾕagreed to appoint Beth Little, Joshua Hardy, Don McNeel, Dennis Egan, Jo Lori Drake and Anne Smith to the Pocahontas County Water Resources Task Force. A seat for a central district member is still available.
ﾕapproved all county banks to be county depositories.
ﾕapproved various in-house budget revisions.
ﾕapproved the Magistrate Office rental agreement for the Durbin Office.
ﾕapproved a letter of support for the Linwood Community Library.
The commission meets again in special session June 28 and in regular session July 6.