The Long County Commission ruled at its December meeting that any animal shelters opening in the county must have the commission’s approval.
According to Chairman Bobby Walker, seven shelters currently house dogs, and many citizens have lodged complaints about excessive barking. Walker said the existing shelters were not approved locally; they were approved by the state. As a result, operational licenses can be revoked only by the state.
Walker said he recently contacted a state representative in an effort to change the policy. He was told that from now on, whenever a Long County request for a license is made to the state, the county commission will be informed of the request and before the license is issued, it will be approved at the county level.
Long County Development Authority Vice Chairman Roger Houston asked the commission for more control over the money allocated to the authority. Houston said it was his understanding that one-fourth of a mill of the tax digest was approved for use by the authority, but the authority never used the money and now several projects need funding. The projects include taking legal action against Paul McGowan to force him into compliance with covenant guidelines at the industrial site and creating a new website.
Walker said that one-fourth of a mill had been approved in the past to go to the authority, but it never was guaranteed to go to the board every year. Currently, the authority has more than $81,000 in its bank account, but the commission is accountable to the taxpayers for this money. Walker said the commission will work with the authority on its request. Houston and other authority members will sit down for a work session with the commissioners.
Long County Volunteer Fire Department Assistant Chief Richard Truman asked the commission for permission to donate some equipment to fire departments in New Jersey. According to Truman, the departments in the area are desperate for equipment because of flooding. Truman said the equipment he selected is not essential for providing services to the county. The commission approved the donation.
Walker also reported that the county road crew has been putting down more calcium chloride on several dirt roads in the county to help with maintenance. The treated roads include Rye Patch, Moody Bridge, Hall, Stafford Dairy and Poole roads. Walker said calcium chloride also will be applied to several roads in the northern part of the county. Commissioner David Richardson said the first to be treated will be Shelton DeLoach and Rip Parker Airs roads.