Funding not the issue
The most recent Morgan County Commission meeting rendered it even more difficult to fathom the benefit to the community of the current failure to commit on a new animal control facility. For the second time in six months, the commissioners were told of the availability of grants and loans for building a new animal shelter, but failed to take action.
This is not a funding issue. At today’s interest rate, U.S. Department of Agriculture can provide 100% new construction financing for $7,000 a year. Yet the commissioners then proposed to pay an annual subscription of $5,000 to the West Virginia Association of Counties so one of them could attend a conference. They could hire a tutor for that money, and there can be no question that a new animal control building would better serve the public.
Animal control resources were recently tested with the seizure of almost 30 mistreated animals. Congratulations may be in order that commission staff and families rallied to prevent disaster, but, as with the courthouse fire, the situation should not have arisen. The commission was caught napping, having failed to take action on the recommended provisions of a January report that proposed emergency standby arrangements for the seizure of farm animals, as well as the involvement of organized volunteers. Acreage, run-in shelter, trailers, volunteer help and discounted emergency veterinary services are all readily available with a little forward planning, with no outlay until an emergency arises.
There is no comparison between the two sites currently under consideration. Only the Widmyer parcel qualifies. Why should homegrown illogic be substituted for tried and true experience and credentialed knowledge that costs nothing?
Commissioner Close again stated his belief that the county cannot raise the dog license. All of the commissioners were provided in January with factual support from the West Virginia Code for the availability of a discretionary right to increase the cost of dog tags. Again, the Commission has failed to take action. The construction of a new animal control building is not a funding issue.