Animal Control Talks Continue in Hart County

October 2, 2012

Talks continue between Hart County and City of Hartwell officials regarding the hiring of an animal control officer.

Representatives from Hart County, Hartwell, Animal Shelter, Inc., the Hart County Humane Society and the Northeast Georgia Animal Shelter met again last week.

The group heard from Royston Police Chief Donnie Boleman on how his town runs their animal control.

Boleman said animal control is run out of the police department and responds to situations as they are called in.

According to Animal Control, Inc. representatives, a part-time animal control officer would cost both the county and the city about $8,500 a year.

Hart County commissioner Dan Reyen said the numbers Boleman suggested were a bit higher.

“$8,500? No. He’s saying about $75,000,” Reyen said. “We’re looking at anywhere’s from $35,000 to $45,000 from the city and county.”

Hart County is currently working on its fiscal 2013 budget which is already seeing more deep cuts in spending.

Convincing the board, Reyen said, to spend that much to fund animal control will be an uphill battle.

“That’s the problem right there, trying to sell it to the county,” Reyen said. “Plus, the animal shelter folks are saying if we get animal control and increase the animal load over at the shelter, then they’re going to need full funding, which according to them should be $57,000 and we’re only putting in $30,000. So that’s another $25,000.”

The group plans to meet again at some point this week to continue talks. No deadline has been set to hire an animal control officer.