2017-09-14 / Front Page

Council addresses stray dog issue, requests help from Richmond Co.

By JANE ELLYN AARON
news editor

Lincolnton’s stray dog problem has prompted city officials to seek help from Richmond County for maintenance of the issue. Mem­bers of city council voted to write officials with Richmond County regarding the matter.

“These are not dogs that belong to residents, these are strays,” Police Chief Brandon Lively affirmed. “They’re wandering around and look like they have mange, and they’re going onto school campuses now which is a serious issue, espe­cially if we don’t know if they have their rabies vaccination, and if they are carrying mange.”

The chief broached the need for outside help, explaining that a lack of manpower and proper handling equipment, as well as a proper hous­ing shelter for the animals, are all serious factors to regard.

Furthermore, other surrounding counties such as Wilkes, Columbia, and others are maxed out in their abilities to take on any more animals at their shelters.

As a part of council’s decision to seek help from Richmond County, Councilman Larry Goolsby, Chief Lively, and City Attorney Barry Fleming will discuss pertinent legal matters, and then submit a letter of request to Richmond officials.

Certain fees are expected for an animal control service, however they are unknown at this time, and in closing the discussion, Goolsby pointed out that this request will have to go through Richmond’s county commission, and they could deny Lincoln County the service.

In other business, council voted to put Main Street repairs on the Local Maintenance Improvement Grant (LMIG) list for 2018.

“We all know the problems we’ve been having out here on Main Street in front of two buildings, and we’d like to use the 2018 monies to do those repairs,” Mayor Henry Brown said.

The 2018 LMIG allotment from the state is $27,000, however it does require a 10 percent match from the city.

In other business, members voted to alter hour requirements for the city’s employee retirement plan.

“Right now our policy states that anyone who works 20 hours per week or over consistently is eligible to participate in our retirement program. We’re suggesting that it change to 30 hours so it matches our health insurance and everything else,” City Clerk Martha Jo Austin explained.

As a part of his department report, Chief Matt Ivey said, “The Lincoln­ton Fire Department had one call for the month of August. It was a false alarm at LCHS. All fire trucks were serviced during the month by M/M Fire Apparatus Repair from Clinton. The pump tests are scheduled for the month of September.

Ivey also asked for permission to shift some budget funds from maintenance accounts to the small equipment account in order to allow for the purchase of two sets of PPEs, eight air bottles, two replacement axe handles, and six ladder safety belts at a cost of about $9,500.

According to Councilman Kyle Reese, he and Councilman Ernie Norman have discussed the fire department budget in detail, and he assured that the bottom line of the budget will not change, it’s merely a matter of reallocating certain funds so that needed equipment purchases can be made.

Council voted to approve Ivey’s request, and the budget will be amended to suit the movement of monies.

Building and Code Enforcement Official Jim Farrand reported that the Department of Planning and Zoning issued 12 building permits for $1,089. He included that 12 inspections on building permits were issued; there were two plat ap­provals; one temporary power turn on; one building, fire, and safety in­spection; 45 meetings with property owners were conducted; two com­plaints/ related issues were received; and there were two violations.

Ben Alligood reported that the wastewater treatment plant had an approximate influent of 673,000 gal­lons for the county; a city influent of 7.3 million gallons; that 8,012,000 gallons were treated effluent/dis­charged; and that rainfall over the past month was 4.675 inches.

Adam Minyard reported that the water treatment plant had a produc­tion count of 17.1 million gallons, and that the plant received 3.65 inches of rain over the month of August.

Minyard also highlighted that parts for the high service pump are scheduled to be in on September 15, and that GWI will complete the repairs; that the total hours on the raw water generator are 383.5; that the plant generator has 783 hours; that the raw water generator ran 3.1 hours; and that the plant generator ran 3.3 hours. He noted that 15 me­ters were turned off on the cutoff list, and that there were no major leaks or repairs to work on in August.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Lincolnton City Council will be held on Tuesday, October 3, beginning at 7 p.m. at city hall.

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