Huntington County Humane Society Board President Katy Hudson, along with shelter and animal control manager Brad Block, attended the regular Roanoke Town Council meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 17, to give a report and request more funding for the shelter in the future.
Hudson took over as board president in May and says that she has had several meetings with County Commissioner Tom Wall about the county contract they hold right now for animal control services.
As of now, that contract applies to all of Huntington County and is for $40,000 for animal control services. Hudson and Block have done a needs analysis to determine “true cost of care for animals and the cost of animal control services.”
“For annual expenses for the county, our true cost is closer to about $78,000 for the year,” Hudson said.
Hudson continued, “What our commissioner has indicated that he would like to see for 2022 is for us to hold separate contracts with the different towns in Huntington County - so Roanoke, Markle, Warren and Andrews - and those would be separate and individualized from the overall county contract.”
Next, Block provided data to the council from June 1 through roughly Aug. 17.
In the report, it showed 25 animals from Roanoke that had to be handled in that time frame. Since Block started, he has noticed an increase of calls in the Roanoke area.
When they get those calls, Block says they are doing as much as they can to handle each situation, but their budget doesn’t make it easy for them.
“We want to try to provide better services for your citizens,” Block explained.
Town Marshal Jim Wood asked to look at the data provided by the Humane Society. Once he did, he asked if it was the jurisdiction of the town or because the resident has a Roanoke address.
Hudson answered that it goes by the address.
“We don’t have the ability right now with dispatch to specifically identify city and Roanoke county,” Hudson said. “And based on those conversations with Mr. Wall, I’m not 100 percent clear on how he’s anticipating we differentiate between what is included in the Huntington County contract… but he
did ask and request that we start approaching the different town councils to request separate contracts and separate budgeting for animal control services.”
Hudson continued, “I’m certain this is going to need to be an ongoing conversation, but advice or guidance on next steps would be appreciated.”
Council President Dave Meitzler acknowledged that they would need to clarify the difference between the town of Roanoke and the county. He requested that Hudson and Block keep the council updated on any additional information they receive and the council would look into a contract for 2022 when it comes closer to that time.
In unrelated business, Mathew Quickery, of the Roanoke Chamber of Commerce, asked permission to have the old town hall bathrooms open during the remaining chamber events for 2021.
Councilman Pat Scher didn’t like the idea of having the bathrooms open to the public, as they are used by the fire department and other emergency personnel.
After some discussion, the council agreed to have the restrooms open for the remaining events in 2021 and that they would revisit the issue in 2022.
In other business:
• Justin Vela, owner of Posey Hill Mobile Home Park, reported that the prior property violations he was informed about are now roughly 85 percent complete. Brant Ricker, of the Huntington County Health Department, stated that he was happy with the progress that Vela has made since the Tuesday, July 20, Roanoke Town Council meeting.
• Meitzler presented the Agreement Form for Insituform for the CIPP Project. The council approved and voted to proceed with the project. Meitzler also presented the Agreement Form of the 2021-1 CCMG Project to Wayne Asphalt. The council also approved this project to begin.
• Clerk-Treasurer Sarah Milton introduced Resolution 2021-3, Appropriation Reduction for 2021. She explained that these are funds that they appropriated for 2021, but aren’t going to need, so they may be used for the 2022 budget. The council approved the resolution.