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Public Service Committee Minutes – January 10, 2022 (unapproved)

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10 JANUARY 2022
Attendees shown on Attachment.
Chairman Tracy Wilburn opened the meeting asking Tommy Pollard to offer a
prayer and lead the pledge to the American flag. A motion to approve previous
minutes of 15 October 2021 was made by Tommy Pollard and seconded by Duane
Jones and was approved.
County Executive Melissa Greene asked that the County’s Animal Shelter Director
Morgan Sutton provide an update on the recent month’s free adoption efforts
and the way forward for the shelter. Morgan, who has just completed a 12 week
training at the Police Academy, spoke on transparency being important, and uses
social media as part of that transparency. She spoke of some unfavorable
remarks on Facebook and mentioned the services, through the significant help of
others, had stayed similar to before her training absence. She gave statistics on
adoptions (6 in December) and mentioned that during the pandemic a lot of
people wanted pets for company and comfort, but afterwards the adoptions,
both here and in other counties, had significantly dropped. She discussed the use
of other organizations, such as Rescue Organization or other shelters, but those
too are overwhelmed with the numbers of animals. Duane Jones and Tommy
Pollard moved that the adoption period be moved to the end of February.
Questions from the committee, and attending commissioners, were: how many
dogs are there now and are they inside or outside (30 dogs, with 12 of those
being outside); Fees? (Adoption – $85 with $50 returned on showing animal
spayed or neutered; Euthanized – with veterinarian $80 – $90 although Morgan is
State certified and can also euthanize the animals); after that discussion Stoney
Jackson suggested it would be more cost beneficial to the county to have free
adoptions all time; discussion about the incentive to spay or neuter still
important; attending deputy name, Deputy Thomas.
Jennifer Riggen spoke of her interests in animal shelters and had discussed with
Rene’ Segraves the Animal Control Officer in Lawrenceburg about their building of
a new shelter. The cost of that building is planned at $380K while Giles County,
per Melissa Greene, is currently estimated between $650K – $850K for a 2000 sq
ft slab building. The difference in the two potential costs is typically a much
higher bid when the offeror is a government offeror, rather than a non-profit
organization. Questions on whether it might benefit Giles County to turn the
operation over to a non-profit and various operating scenarios were discussed.
For instance, could the currently budgeted $250K be provided to the non-profit
for them to purchase a building, and the answer was yes, giving examples of how
the Fire and Rescue is currently similarly funded. However, some of the
challenges for such a scenario would be the 80 hours per week currently being
used by the Director and the Deputy and how would that be for a non-profit who
works only with volunteers, and that being somewhat perfunctory.
Sheriff Kyle Helton then described the workload which is considerable with the
ultimate goal of adoption of the animals.
Another motion by Duane Jones, and seconded by Tommy Pollard, was made to
extend the free adoption time period for an indefinite period of time. Motion
Morgan gave additional information on receipts with that being $995 last month.
She is looking at various veterinarians to discuss special rates. Erin Curry
mentioned the recent death of actress Betty White and how many are using her
birthday of 17 January to ask for donations since the actress was a strong animal
rights activist. Morgan said she was also planning on doing that.
With no old business or anymore new business, Tommy moved for adjournment
with Tim Risner seconding. Motion approved.

Members Present:  Chairman Tracy Wilburn, Rose Brown, Bill Cary, Tim Risner, Duane Jones, Tommy Pollard and Harold Brooks.

Other Commissioners Present:  Rodney Journey, Erin Curry, Joyce Woodard, Judy Pruett, Terry Harwell, Mike Cesarini, David Adams, Stoney Jackson, Larry Worsham, David Wamble, Roger Reedy, Brad Butler and Joseph Sutton.

Others in attendance:  Shelter Director – Morgan Sutton, ACO – Stetson Thomas, Sheriff Kyle Helton, Tonya Holley, County Executive Melissa Greene, Jennifer Riggins, Margie Haney