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Animal shelter questioned

By By Sheila Blackmon/The Meridian Star
Aug. 3, 2001
Lauderdale County supervisors could be back at square one again  with a proposed animal shelter, after questioning the animal control committee's recommendation to take over the city's shelter.
District 3 Supervisor Craig Hitt and District 5 Supervisor Ray Boswell gave the rest of the board an update at a regular work session Thursday.
District 4 Supervisor Q.V. Sykes expressed concern at the board's "taking on all these problems" city animal control personnel must handle.
Part of the committee's proposal includes a countywide tax. Boswell said city leaders say they will drop the tax inside the city for animal control.
Board president Jimmie Smith said he is concerned the city might redirect funds currently used for animal control to another division which means people in the city would continue to pay that tax plus the county's tax for animal control.
District 1 Supervisor Hank Florey said if animal control "gets too big, it's going to be a problem" for the county.
While Hitt and Boswell continued to stress the city's budget is not supervisors' concern, Smith said supervisors "have a responsibility" to city residents.
He recommended the committee expand their meetings to include at least two city council members, instead of only Mayor John Robert Smith and City Administrator Ken Storms.
In other matters, the board discussed maintenance on the county's heavy equipment. Boswell said he is concerned detailed records aren't being kept. Maintenance personnel say they are keeping detailed records.
Boswell said he is also concerned too much money and labor is being spent on worn-out equipment.
Smith asked the equipment committee to discuss the matter with maintenance personnel and bring recommendations back to the board.
Supervisors also heard a report from Hope for Children officials. Smith signed a grant application that would fund the salary and training of a therapeutic coordinator for the campus.
The grant for a little less than $44,000 would be a 75/25 grant with 25 percent funded locally but not out of the county's budget. Funds would be distributed through the county.
Executive Director Carrie Ponder said officials continue to work on a new name for the program. She also told supervisors Peavey House will move to the campus sometime this weekend.
Sheila Blackmon is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. Call her at 693-1551, ext. 3275, or e-mail her at sblackmon@themeridianstar.com.

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