Time to act
Since Bark At The Commissioners formed a few weeks ago Commissioners Stacy Dugan and Brad Close have been scrambling to make improvements at the Route 9 kennels. More has been done recently than has been done in the last 10 years. Public pressure has forced them to focus on the problem and attempt solutions.
Unfortunately, their solutions are mostly cosmetic and do not address the serious issues facing Animal Control. New dog runs and a paint job do not change the fact that the kennels are still 3 1/2’x5’ or that the sanitary conditions cannot be covered up.
New kennels are needed and that planning must start now. It is great that Commissioner Brenda Hutchinson and Carol York have been working so diligently in finding grant money to help build new kennels. Yet such funding may take years to find and would likely cover only a fraction of the total costs. The commissioners need to commit to a location and come up with a plan to fund the entire project.
Commissioner Hutchinson’s idea to use property already owned by the county is a wise move that will save the taxpayers a tremendous amount of money. There are many ways to come up with the additional funding. A long term loan at a low interest rate, such as was done with the courthouse, would make sense. Using the line of credit that the county has already established is another solution. A combination of public and private funding has been used in many other localities. Commissioner Close’s offer to raise money privately should be encouraged. Perhaps a 50/50 matching program could be set up.
If Commissioners Dugan and Close refuse to consider the option of shutting the Route 9 kennels in the short term then a long term solution must be addressed immediately.
Doing cosmetic changes and hoping the issue fades away is not a realistic approach to a problem that has been overlooked and neglected for the last decade. The time to act is now. The time for delay is over.