Animal Control? Somervell County Currently has NO INTERLOCAL AGREEMENT with the City of Glen Rose


 

Animal Control? Somervell County Currently has NO INTERLOCAL AGREEMENT with the City of Glen Rose
 


3 April 2017 at 3:57:37 PM
salon

What does that mean for those of us that live in Somervell County but not the city? Means that we now have to deal with lost, strayed, homeless animals, sick animals, animals with rabies, etc without being able to call City of Glen Rose Animal Control to come help us get them. Example: I thought I saw two strays on the road recently. Before, I could call Animal Control and let them know and they would come pick them up, free of charge. Now, I would need to somehow trap the strays, bring them in and be charged $25 per adult animal. Would I do that with a rabid animal? Nope. Question comes up whether Somervell County entity, then, has a responsibility,  if they aren't going to have an agreement with the city and THEY DO NOT RIGHT NOW, to do something with stray animals themselves, most especially rabid animals. It appears to me that if the County doesn't want to play with the City, they then have to get their own rabies control authority and have a way to quarantine animals. It's absurd to think that county residents would have to be responsible to grab up sick animals to bring in. Someone that was not ethical might go try to dump animals in the city just to have the benefit of an animal control officer, but it seems to me that the county is shirking its duty to provide safety to county citizens. (And don't forget, the Luminant lawsuit has now been settled). 

Incidentally, were this not a matter also of health and safety, I don't disagree with the idea that if someone wants to dump their pets (and that's what it is, dumping them) with City of Glen Rose Animal Control, they should pay a fee if the county is no longer doing it. However, I should not be penalized for trying to remove homeless/stray/rabid animals from the county by being required to somehow trap them and bring them in, AND THEN BE CHARGED for doing so. I've also heard, when i listen to the scanner, where there are occasions the local Sheriff's department has an interaction with angry, frightened into biting, etc animal, in some cases dangerous animals, but that interaction, right now, would have to occur IN THE CITY to get Animal Control to come. 

On August 18, 2016, Somervell County Commissioners Court voted on a motion regarding animal control. The handwriting on this document says "and cancel any future contracts". At the time the Luminant lawsuit was going on and had not yet been settled. 

On Sep 8, 2016 I posted a letter from Somervell County Judge Danny Chambers in which he sent a letter to Chester Nolan, City of Glen Rose City Administrator, that Somervell County was cutting the $58,000 paid to Animal Control for Fiscal Year 2016-2017. 

On Sep 14, 2016, I posted video from a City of Glen Rose meeting I attended in which Animal Control was discussed. The City of Glen Rose owns the facility and Animal Control is part of City of Glen Rose services. 

Although I can't find an interlocal agreement for 2015, here is one for 2014-2015. Note that the County, (Judge at that point was Mike Ford) agreed to pay $57,000.00 for the term of the agreement and in return, among other things 

City agrees to provide services to County in connection with the pickup of lost, stray or homeless animals within the portions of the County which lie outside the corporate city limits of City, to house and dispose of said animals in accordance with City's established rules. 

It appears that Mayor Sam Moody and Danny Chembers were in correspondence with each other at least as late as December 16, 2016. Mayor Moody wrote:

Judge Chambers

As you are aware, effective September 30, 2016, the Inter-Local Agreement between the City of Glen Rose, TX and Somervell County, TX pertaining to animal control services provided by the City to Somervell County expired. In your letter of August 18, 2015 regarding Animal Control, the County notified the City that, in view of pending legal matters, namely the unresolved Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Plant property tax assessment challenge, the County Commissioners decided not to renew this long-standing agreement for fiscal year 2017. 

The City, in the spirit of community support, has continued to provide animal control services to the County. In the interim, both side have worked, informally, to find some acceptable, more enduring arrangement that would be beneficial to both parties regarding animal control services. Unfortunately, this has not been possible. 

In the absence of a current agreement, the City will be terminating animal control services effective January 1, 2017, unless an Inter-Local agreement, like those of the past, can be re-established. This will allow additional time to seek a more enduring resolution to this matter while insuring the immediate needs of all parties is met

Respectfully yours,

Onda "Sam" Moody

Mayor, City of Glen Rose

Here is that letter

The letter says they were working on an arrangement *informally*. So, rather than putting this as an agenda item to let county citizens know that there were some types of negotiations going on, Somervell County Commissioners opted to just say nothing. Had I not attended the City meetings, I might have been under the impression that Animal Control still could be called upon for urgent stray animal or rabid situations. Nope. If the county needed to deliberate about whatever the arrangement was going to be, they couldn't have put it as an agenda item to discuss so that ALL residents would be aware? One would have had to go to the city, which had an agenda item last month about the Animal Control fee schedule and then looked AT the fee schedule to see that county residents are now expected to bring in animals and then pay a fee, or find out if you call Animal Control.

One wonders what in the fool the *arrangement* could have been that could not reach an agreement. Did the county refuse to pay what they have paid for years, basically roughly $55,000? Did they tack on extra conditions that the city refused to meet? If so, why???? 

If you feel as I do that the county has dropped the ball, that if they aren't going to do an interlocal agreement with the city, they dang well need to go appoint or hire a rabies control officer and have their OWN quarantine place AND pick up the animals, then CALL your commissioner. Then come back here and put in a comment and tell me what was said. 

 

 


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