Animal shelter plans discussed by council

Animal shelter plans discussed by council

Posted: Wednesday, July 7, 2010 9:05 pm

By DONNA RYDER
Associate Editor
The City of Union City has been making plans to move the animal shelter in the city to a city-owned building. But not so fast, say some councilmen.
The city council Tuesday night agreed to accept bids for remodeling the building at 1415 North Fifth St.
Public Works director Steve Ladd informed the council three local contractors were asked for their assistance in determining the specs for the remodel. Ideas were taken from the local contractors and specs have been drawn up. Those contractors will be given the opportunity to bid on the job, as will other contractors.
But, when it came time to terminate the lease the city has with Sara Lee for that property, the council wasn’t so quick to act.
City attorney Jim Glas-gow Jr., who was conducting the meeting in the absence of interim city manager Kathy Dillon, told the council the city has a month-to-month lease with Sara Lee and if the council wishes to move forward with its plans to use the building as an animal shelter, Sara Lee needs to be given a termination notice. That date would have been Aug. 31, as presented to the council for consideration.
“I’m not sure we need to do that,” councilman Billy Jack “B.J.” Cranford said. “We’re not sure we will even use the building.”
Councilman Bill “Rat” Harrison agreed, saying he’s not sure what the council will do since they have not voted on what type of operation the city will have. He said if the animal shelter continues as is it is, he would not vote for it.
“We’ve got people bringing dogs we don’t want,” he said.
Councilman Judy Robinson said she thinks it’s “premature” to be ending the lease.
Glasgow said the company will need to be given at least 30 days notice.
Mayor Terry Hailey said he was recently given the suggestion that Obion County should do what Maricopa County, Ariz., does, and have the sheriff’s department run the animal shelter with the inmates caring for the dogs and cats. Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is the sheriff who also makes his inmates wear pink clothing, use pink towels, sleep in tents and work on chain gangs.
Hailey said he would be “delighted” if the county would take the animal shelter and operate it. “I’ve not thought about that, but it might work.”
After the council completed its business agenda, Shannon Lacewell of Paws, Claw and More in Wingo, Ky., spoke concerning the local animal shelter.
She told the council they’re having trouble with people throwing sick animals over the fence at the shelter.
“I wish people would call,” she said, adding when the animals are thrown over the fence, it risks their lives. In addition, sick animals dumped on the grounds also risk the lives of the animals already at the shelter. In fact, they believe a dead dog recently found at the shelter died from head injuries it sustained when someone threw it over the fence. She also believes a kitten found outside the fence last week was dumped, but then run over in the driveway by the person who abandoned it.
Ms. Lacewell said the animal shelter in Union City does not take animals from outside the city, but she can help place the animals in other shelters if only people will call her. She said she will even take sick animals, they just don’t need to be thrown over the fence. Her number is (270) 705-5794.
Ms. Lacewell also informed the council they have installed a video camera at the shelter.
Hailey told Ms. Lacewell he appreciates what she is doing and that the shelter is “a whole lot better” than what it had been.
After the meeting was opened in prayer by Glasgow, the council:
• Agreed the city will pay fees charged when traffic violators, who are caught by the speed and red light cameras, make their payments by credit card. The fees are between 1 1/2 to 3 percent per payment and average less than $100 per month total, according to Assistant Police Chief Perry Barfield. The fee was originally to be split evenly between the city and Redflex, but this is not possible due to an accounting problem, he noted.
• Awarded an asphalt bid to Ford Construction for $76.45 per ton of 41D, which includes red rock and is more skid resistant than 411E, Ladd said. Ford was the only bidder.
• Adopted job descriptions for light equipment operator and heavy equipment operator in the street department and light equipment operator and heavy equipment operator in the water and sewer department.
• Allowed the closure of Nash Street from Dr. Martin Luther King Drive to Vine Street from 8 a.m. until 7 p.m. Aug. 7 so the Colored Hotel Foundation and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Northwest Tennessee-Union City may host a Friends Day Celebration.
• Agreed to solicit bids for ditch cleaning on Nailling Drive north and south of the bridge near Lowrance Sound.
• Heard the street project in the area of Church Street should begin in mid-July. The company has been tied up on a project on Highway 51.
• Discussed the ditch behind Save-A-Lot. Councilman Dianne Eskew said there are snakes coming from the ditch, as well as mosquitoes. Ladd said the city sprayed the ditch within the last two weeks. He said there are too many rocks in it to mow.
• Heard from Ellis Cochran who asked if there is a double standard for building codes in the city for people who live in their own homes and people who own homes to rent. He said he knows of homes where the roofs are falling in and the city does nothing about them. “What’s fair for one should be fair for all,” he said.
Cochran also asked about a county-owned lot, the ditch near the railroad and whether the city looks at financial statements before giving money to organizations who request it.
• Discussed a lot on the corner of Mercer and Greenwood streets which needs to be mowed.
• Asked about a pit bull on Vine Street which Mrs. Eskew said bit a lady. Barfield said he was unsure whether or not it had been picked up. Ms. Lacewell said it had not been at the shelter.
Published in The Messenger 7.7.10

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