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 FRONT PAGE - NOVEMBER 3, 1999 - DANIELSVILLE, GA

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SOOTHING SOUNDS
Madison County freshman Chad Coulter plays the xylophone during the Raiders' halftime show Friday against Oconee County.
Photo by Zach Mitcham
LOCAL GOVERNMENT

Carlton considered as site for animal shelter
Group aims to open the facility in 2001
BY MARGIE RICHARDS
A group looking to build an animal shelter in Madison County found little opposition to the idea of locating that shelter in Carlton.
The real problem seems to be finding the exact location to build it on.
A number of concerned citizens turned out for Monday night's public hearing with members of the Madison- Oglethorpe Animal Shelter, Inc., to discuss the possibility of a tri-county animal shelter being built in their area.
"Carlton is so appealing (as a building site) because it is the geographic center of the three counties and Hwy. 72 provides easy access," MOAS board president Susan Fisher said.
Besides Madison and Oglethorpe Counties, representatives from an Elbert County humane society have expressed an interest in building a shelter to serve all three counties, according to Fisher.
An ideal site, according to MOAS members, would be seven to 10 acres that are relatively isolated due to people's concerns about possible noise and odor, but with easy access to Hwy. 72.
Fisher said MOAS is tentatively looking at a 10-acre tract near the railroad on Berkeley Quarry Road, just outside the city limits of Carlton.
Fisher told the audience that an animal shelter in White County is being considered as a prototype.
Other immediate plans include: approaching the board of commissioners from each of the three counties to ask that they pass a resolution supporting the operating budget of an animal shelter in the year 200l, finding a site in time to begin building the facility in the spring of 2000 and opening the shelter in 2001.
"Our goals may be optimistic, but it (the shelter) is long overdue," she said.
Based on figures from the Humane Society of the United States - which uses an area's human population to estimate the number of unwanted animals a shelter may house in a given period - Fisher said a tri-county shelter could expect to take in 3,000 - 4,000 animals per year.
"But it could be a lot more," she cautioned, "especially in the beginning."
Out of this number, more than 50 percent could be expected to be euthanized.
Responding to questions on operating expenses, Fisher again quoted information from the HSUS that the average yearly expense of operating a shelter could be expected to range from $3 -$5 per capita.
With current populations ranging from 25,000 in Madison, 20,000 in Elbert and 12,000 in Oglethorpe counties, a rough figure of $180,000 could be projected as an annual operating expense, she told the crowd.
Board member Joe Conti from Oglethorpe County pointed out that all three counties are facing the possibility of potential lawsuits in connection with dangerous dog attacks.
"We're not responding properly to dangerous animal problems," Conti said, adding that local law enforcement are not equipped to deal with the situation. "It's a catch 22, in order to enforce the laws, we have to have the manpower and a place to put them (the animals)," Conti added.
Fisher urged all those present in support of an animal shelter and animal control laws to call their county commissioners.
Fisher said other options of the group were to introduce and promote educational programs in the county concerning responsible pet ownership, the introduction and enforcement of animal control laws and the establishment of low cost spay/neuter programs to reduce the underlying problem of pet overpopulation.
"This is not just an animal lover's problem; it's a major public health issue," Fisher said. Fisher said that while the majority of the revenue will have to come from county budgets, some of it can come from fundraisers, licensing and adoption fees.
"Besides a shelter board, we would like to maintain a humane society to work on continuing to raise money and promote public awareness," she said.
Responding to the input and questions of the crowd, Carlton city clerk Steve Sorrells said: "You might want to consider having similar public forums in other areas of the counties because you're going to need county wide support from all three counties."
- Margie Richards is secretary of the Madison-Oglethorpe Animal Shelter, Inc.


Glenn Cross, Randy Williams elected
Danielsville mayor Glenn Cross was elected to a second term Tuesday, while Randy Williams was chosen as the new District 2 representative on the Comer City Council.
Cross defeated challenger Ray Watson 52-42 and Williams received 22 votes to incumbent Carla Ingram's 16.
"I'll do everything I can to keep taxes and utilities low and to keep the city operating in a good, efficient manner," Cross said last week. "I want to keep the community safe with good police and fire protection. And I think the community should be informed and involved."
Williams said he hopes people will be pleased with the job he does as a council member.
"I hope everybody will be happy with the decisions I make as I serve on the city council," Williams said after the votes were tallied. "I appreciate everybody that came out and voted."
Williams will be sworn in at the first Comer council meeting in January.



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