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Court approves move to take over animal control duties from Humane Society

Video of the Jan. 4th meeting of Nelson Fiscal Court .

By JIM BROOKS
Nelson County Gazette / WBRT Radio

Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022 — Nelson Fiscal Court approved funding that will allow the county to take over operation of the county’s animal shelter from the Nelson County Humane Society.

The magistrates discussed Watts’ proposal for the move at the last Nelson Fiscal Court meeting, with several magistrates questioning the need to hire an additional animal control officer as explained by Watts’ plan.

Watts said the county would take over the two part-time positions that current operate the adoption and animal rescue functions at the shelter.

Magistrate Keitht Metcalfe

Adding an extra animal control officer will cost the county approximately $92,889 for salary and benefits. The two part-time positions will cost the county about $37,000 for salary and benefits.

The income generated by adoptions will offset part of the expenses, Watts explained.

“Its an important part of our community,” Watts said of funding two animal control officers.

Magistrate Keith Metcalfe voted against the proposal, pointing out that Bullitt County — which is twice the size of Nelson County — has only one dog warden.

“I don’t think its a good use of taxpayer money,” Metcalfe explained, nothing that Bullittl County has managed their animal shelter with just one fulltime animal control officer.

Metcalfe said his opinion was based as well on the fact he never gets a phone call from constituents complaining about cat or pet issues.

The measure was approved 4-1, with Metcalfe casting the only “nay” vote.

After the meeting, Watts provided budget information from Bullitt Fiscal Court that showed the county had two fulltime animal control officers as well as part-time help.

HITE WON’T SEEK RE-ELECTION. After the meeting, County Attorney Matthew Hite told magistrates that he will not seek re-election as county attorney

Hite said he had served as assistant county attorney under John Kelley, and was appointed to the post in 2012. He said he felt it was a good time in his career to transition out of the county attorney role.

In other business, fiscal court:

— approved re-appointing Nicky Rapier to the Northeast Nelson Water District board.

NEXT UP. Nelson Fiscal Court will meet next at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2022, in the second floor meeting room in the Old Courthouse.

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