Wayne County's new animal shelter opened this week, after the facility received an excellent inspection rating by the state veterinarian. The new shelter is located next to the recycling center in a building that was donated to the county by Cobb-Vantrass.
County officials have spent several months renovating the building to meet the needs of an animal shelter. County Judge-Executive Mike Anderson updated magistrates in regard to the facility during a meeting held on Thursday, October 12.
Anderson said that the facility will be open to the public from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m., which will allow time for pet adoptions. There are currently two full-time employees at the facility and a part-time employee has been hired as well.
Anderson answered several questions about the animal shelter, which were asked by local resident Yovany Pino. Pino, who said that he and his wife volunteer at the Pulaski County Animal Shelter, asked Anderson about the number of volunteers that would be needed at the local facility.
Anderson said at this point inmates would be used as volunteers and the initial plan would be to have two inmates at the facility. He said that could be adjusted according to what is needed.
Pino also asked about adoption fees. Anderson did not discuss a specific figure, but noted that the county will be looking at updating the county's animal control ordinance to reflect this type of information. He expects the court to address those changes next month.
Anderson added that the county would no longer pick up stray cats, but that local residents would be able to bring them to the shelter for a fee of $5.
Pino noted that Pulaski County works with several animal rescue organizations to help get pets new homes when possible. He asked about Wayne County's efforts to work with rescue organizations.
Anderson noted that they have already been working with two or three different rescues in order to find dogs new homes, and he indicated that would continue.
Anderson told magistrates that other counties have been contacted about the possibility of using Wayne County's new shelter, which would help generate income to operate the facility. But he added that they would like to wait a few months after the shelter opens before taking on animals from other counties.
As state legislators continue to talk about ways to solve Kentucky's pension problems, counties across Kentucky are pledging their support to action that would sever the connection between the County Employees Retire-ment System (CERS) and the Kentucky Retirement System (KRS). Wayne County became the latest county to join that effort when they passed a resolution urging the General Assembly and Governor Matt Bevin to separate the CERS from the state retirement plan.
Anderson said this is a request that is designed to help protect the benefits for employees who are in the county retirement program. He noted that this does mean the state legislature will approve this, but the resolution does show the county's support.
The court approved the Rural Secondary Road Program Agreement between the State Transportation Cabinet and the county, which will allow flex funds to be spent on local resurfacing projects. The county has received $369,305 in flex funds from the state, according to Anderson.
Roads were submitted by magistrates for consideration for this funding, and were ranked and selected by state transportation officials.
District Two Magistrate Jeff Dishman and District Three Magistrate Dale Vaughn voted in favor of the agreement, while District One Magistrate Ronnie Turner and District Four Magistrate Troy Neal were opposed. Anderson broke the tie by voting in favor of the agreement.
In other action the court:
• Approved the November pay increase.
• Agreed to hire Tamara Snow as a part-time employee at the Animal Shelter.
• Heard an update from Dale Hancock about Community Telecom Services. Hancock said that the HD project is nearly complete and they hope to provide a date for that conversion soon. He also said that they are getting ready to launch the fiber internet project.
• Heard a monthly report from Jailer Harvey Shearer who noted that the detention center has a total of 206 inmates, which includes 69 county inmates and 137 state inmates. For the month of September, they have billed a total of $123,072.18 for housing inmates.
• Heard a monthly report from Solid Waste Coordinator Tim Bell who stated that white goods were collected at 75 households in September bringing the total for the year to 776. Recycling sales for the month of September were $10,481.05.
• Heard a monthly report from Wayne County EMS Assistant Director Dewayne Perkins who stated that the ambulance service answered 255 calls in September, bringing the total for the year to 2,500.