Council Pressed on Animal Laws

WINNSBORO (Dec. 29, 2016) – County Council during the second public comment period of their Dec. 12 meeting heard from a group of concerned Fairfield County residents seeking to have input into strengthening animal cruelty laws for the County.

Hoof and Paw Benevolent Society Board members Kathy Faulk and Paula Spinale, both residents of the County, were among several members of their group to address Council.

Faulk expressed her appreciation to Council for allowing Hoof and Paw to work with the Animal Shelter and Adoption Center and to have input into a proposed new animal cruelty ordinance for the County. But she lamented that it had not yet come to Council for a vote. She urged the County to move forward with stricter tethering laws to prevent domestic animals from being left unsheltered and outside on chains.

“There is nothing on the books to give our animal control officers, who work so hard, anything to sink their teeth into when they go out and see these dogs in just horrible circumstances,” Faulk told Council. “So we have to get something on the books, guidelines on tethering, on housing.”

Spinale agreed.

“I drive around Fairfield County and see these dogs tied up on short chains 24/7. I hope Council (members) will find it in their hearts to want to change that,” Spinale said.

During County Council time, Councilwoman Mary Lynn Kinley (District 6) who has been an outspoken advocate for animals, thanked the Hoof and Paw members for their work with the County.

“Our ordinance is in the hands of the magistrate, from what I understand from Mr. (Davis) Anderson (Deputy County Administrator),” Kinley said. “The state law is inadequate as far as requiring housing for animals and punishment for those who mistreat animals.”

Kinley, who was defeated for her Council seat in November, said she plans to continue to stay in touch and be involved with the ordinance’s progress after she goes off Council at the end of December.

Vehicle Purchases

Council also approved a list of new vehicles and equipment that was recommended to Council in November by the Administration and Finance Committee.

Council unanimously voted to purchase a 30,000-pound vehicle lift for the Vehicle Maintenance Department for just under $35,000; a new Ford Police Interceptor SUV for the Sheriff’s Office for $48,937; a 2016 Ford F-150 for the Sheriff’s Office for $72,309; a new ambulance for the EMS Department for $186,719 and two Sunset conversion vans for the Transportation Department for $105,614.

Council also approved $25,370 for engineering and design services for the County’s fire alarm system ($100,000 is budgeted for an upgrade of the entire system).

On Taylor’s recommendation, Council did not take up a lone bid for the County’s manpower efficiency study that came in at $60,000, nearly double the $36,000 budgeted. The study had not been recommended to Council for approval by the Budget and Finance Committee.

“This company does not have a long track record doing this kind of work,” Taylor said “so we recommend Council not move forward with this (study) without putting it out for bid once again.”