Lincoln County pitches Toledo City Council to support putting the County Animal Shelter on the ballot for continued funding
Lincoln County Commissioner Bill Hall came calling on the Toledo City Council Tuesday evening, the seventh city he’s asked to support putting the Lincoln County Animal Shelter proposal on the November ballot. The first attempt to convince the council to support the idea was something less than successful. But it appeared that the second time was the charm. Hall came equipped with Deputy County Counsel Kristin Yuill in a sort of tag team presentation. Hall and Yuill also enjoyed support of Toledo Police Chief David Enyeart.
The Animal Shelter proposal on the November ballot seeks voter approval of a property tax override of 11 cents per thousand dollars of assessed valuation. The current override would be replaced with a new one. The new tax override would support the operation and maintenance of the county animal shelter in Newport and also support animal control officers who respond to animal complaints. The animal control officers also work in tandem with law enforcement on crime scenes if there are dogs, some of which can be very vicious.
Mayor Ralph Grutzmacher, a critic of the animal shelter tax plan, maintained that if the ballot measure passed there would still be instances when an animal control officer might not be readily available. Grutzmacher suggested that if a Toledo Police officer was required to transport the animal to the shelter in Newport, then the county should cover the cost of the officer’s time.
Chief Enyeart strongly urged the council to put the issue on the ballot in Toledo, because by not doing that, it would leave Toledo without any animal control coverage other than by his officers. Chief Enyeart said Toledo had 300 animal complaint calls last year. He said that animal control officers handle dog calls far better than regular police officers who are not trained to do it. In addition he said his officers have more important work to do than being bogged down in animal problems.
The council appeared supportive and scheduled a formal vote on it during their next city council meeting Wednesday, June 13th. Commissioner Hall reminded the council that when the animal shelter’s current tax override was before county voters, over 70% of Toledo voters supported it.