Tax Court Debates Cost of Extending Animal Control and Covering Pet Adoptions

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By JIM BROOKS
Nelson County Gazette / Radio WBRT

Tuesday, December 21, 2021 – Executive Judge Dean Watts led a discussion on options for the county to resume the county’s full animal control operation which is now assisted by the local Humane Society.

The Humane Society told the court it wanted to withdraw from the day-to-day operations of the animal shelter, and at its meeting on Tuesday, Watts provided the court with rough estimates for hiring an additional animal control officer and two part-time employees to manage rescues and adoptions.

Magistrates Keith Metcalfe and Gary Coulter have requested to see supporting documents to show the county must spend the $ 113,605 in extra money to fund the extra salaries.

Because the shelter makes money from adoption fees, the county will receive at least $ 40,000 per year in adoption fees, which will offset some of the costs, Watts explained.

Watts said his figures represented the “worst-case scenario” when it comes to spending. Actual spending will likely be lower than forecast, he told the court.

Watts’ proposal is to add another full-time animal control officer – a proposal Metcalfe has questioned. He and Coulter both asked to see the number of calls Animal Control answers each month.

Metcalfe suggested the county hire a part-time animal control officer, an idea according to Watts that, given the current work environment, was really not feasible.

“The county needs two full-time animal control officers,” he told the court.

Nelson County Sheriff Ramon Pineiroa said the Nelson County Expedition received nearly 300 animal-related calls for the year, and 49 in the past month.

No votes were taken, but magistrates agreed to consider additional data on the need for a second animal control officer at the next tax court meeting.

Watts promised magistrates he would call for a vote on the measure at the first tax court meeting in January.

DISCUSSION ON SHORT TERM RENTAL. Justice Watts informed the court of the recent approval by the City of Bardstown of a 90-day moratorium on short-term rentals that will allow an update to the 2017 regulations governing short-term rentals.

Applicants who wish to use a property for short-term rental must obtain a conditional use permit, among other requirements. The city and county adjustment councils are the agencies that grant these permits.

The county has 70 short-term rentals scattered across the county, and city and county adjustment councils seek additional advice from legislative bodies when considering applications for new short-term rentals.

Magistrates have decided not to impose a similar moratorium, but they are interested in the changes the city adjustment council is making to the city’s short-term rental regulations as an example of possible changes to county regulations. on short term rentals.

SIGN OF THE TIMES. County deputy highway supervisor Lee Mattingly said an increasing number of traffic signs were being stolen in Nelson County. Sign theft is a crime, and not victimless – without road signs in place, emergency vehicles can have difficulty locating an address in an emergency.

Executive Judge Dean Watts said the highways department had already spent 75 percent of its signage budget when it was only halfway through the budget year.

Mattingly asked anyone who saw traffic signs in a garage or cave man to report the signs to the county.

ROAD DEPARTMENT. County Engineer Brad Spalding said work was underway to replace the Woodlawn Bridge. It should be finished at the end of January.

Bridge replacement work on Dee Head Road is expected to begin on December 27 and last for approximately 90 days.

In other matters, counsel:

– approved a Memorandum of Understanding between the County, the Town of Bardstown and the North Nelson Water District.

– approved a motion to declare a 0.44 acre parcel of land at the end of Love Ridge Road as surplus so it can be sold by the county at a later date.

– approved the replacement of the engine of an EMS ambulance. An EMS ambulance en route to assist with recovery after a storm in western Kentucky suffered an engine failure in Grayson County. The court approved $ 17,093 for the purchase of a full replacement diesel engine.

FOLLOWING. The next Nelson Tax Court meeting will be on Tuesday, January 4, 2021 at 9:00 a.m. in the Tax Court meeting room on the second floor of the Old Courthouse.

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