A hairy situation is brewing between city and county over the acceptance of cats at Warren County Animal Control and Adoption Center.
“I am disappointed over the recent decision made by Commissioner Michael Martin and the county Health and Welfare Committee to disavow a longstanding policy by ordering its Animal Control director not to accept cats from Warren County taxpayers who live inside the city, without attaching a $10 fee,” said McMinnville Mayor Jimmy Haley.
Animal Control director Kim Pettrey was instructed on Monday by Martin not to take any more cats obtained from the city without charging $10 per cat. The county’s current policy, according to Martin, requires residents of Viola, Centertown and Morrison to pay $10 per cat and $35 per dog and he wants the city of McMinnville to pay the same.
Pettrey urged the committee to reconsider due to the city’s facility not being able to accommodate cats and that people will resort to dumping and that will create a much larger problem of feral cats.
Martin responded, “The city needs to take care of their own. We’re putting money in our facility. Right now, we are putting more money in our facility than the city is. Until you get the policy manual approved and changed, it stops.”
Martin made a motion to have the county attorney draft a resolution and present it to the full Warren County Commission that will change the county’s policy to charge the city of McMinnville the same fee as the other three cities. Martin, with members Teddy Boyd, Linda Jones and Tommy Savage, voted in favor. Commissioner Blaine Wilcher abstained.
McMinnville officials met Tuesday, the day following the county meeting. While the cat situation was not on the agenda for discussion, the county’s decision was brought up during a budget discussion pertaining to Animal Control.
“They had a county meeting last night that dealt with their Animal Control facility,” said Alderman Everett Brock. “They have decided, from what I understand, they are not going to pick up cats for us anymore without us paying for them. We need to check on this because I think the statement was made that they are not going to take anymore cats from the city unless we pay them.”
City administrator Bill Brock stated, “The last time I checked we lived in the county but I could be incorrect about that.”
Brock’s statement brought laughter from those in attendance because city residents are county residents and they pay county property taxes which are used to fund the county’s facility.
Brock added, “I’ll check on this and get back with you. The individuals of the county facility have been working great with us. They’ve helped us out and we’ve helped them out. It’s a good working relationship that I hope continues.”