Raccoons get a pass on dangerous animal ordinance

~by Janice Harbaugh for GreeneCountyNewsOnline

The Greene County board of supervisors eliminated the category of “dangerous animals” during the second reading of the proposed dangerous and vicious animal ordinance at their regular meeting on Jan 9.

Raccoons had been classified as dangerous under the first reading of the proposed ordinance and ownership of them would have been forbidden except under certain circumstances. After discussing the “grandfathering in” of current raccoon pets in the county, the board decided the dangerous animal category in general was complex and opened up more questions than it would have answered.

The third and final reading of the proposed vicious animal ordinance will be at the regular board of supervisors meeting on Jan 13.

Courthouse security topics were discussed with county attorney Thomas Laehn representing the security committee. Outside security professionals have been consulted over the past months.

Recommendations were made to the board for adding key card locks on courthouse doors, security cameras in public areas, and bullet proof glass in certain areas. There was discussion about expanding some security measures to the Bell Tower. Quotes for various projects have been received and demonstrations of various products are ahead.

The glass project will be on the board agenda for Jan 13.

In budgetary business, the board heard a request from county attorney Laehn for $296,000 for FY21, which is an increase of $18,500 from the current year. Laehn said the increase is due to increased salaries and adding more hours to the work of the assistant county attorney. Laehn said his office has begun to charge defense attorneys for costs related to discovery and other office fees and this will bring in some revenue. No action was taken by the board.

Michele Madsen, Greene County Ambulance director, requested $643,000 for FY21. The ambulance program will complete its first year in March and it is already over budget by $66,000. Ambulance service revenue is estimated at $350,000.

Madsen said scheduling difficulties in filling all shifts led to overtime being paid and an additional fulltime EMT position would reduce that expense.

“People in the county don’t want to be without service,” Madsen said.

The board expressed appreciation for the ambulance service and collaboration between the service and law enforcement. The board noted the first year of operation is always difficult to predict expenses. No action was taken by the board on the budget request.

The board unanimously approved hiring Andrew Owen as basic EMT part-time at $12 per hour.

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