County hopeful on animal control pact

Fayette County is hoping that it can move forward with its animal control plans next week.
Bruce DeLashmit of Bellwether, the county’s administrative assistant, told board members on Tuesday that he and Merrell Collins, chairman of the board’s animal control subcommittee, joined the Vandalia City’s Council’s teleconferencing meeting last Monday.
He said they learned that the council was not going to vote on its intergovernmental agreement with the county for animal control because the issue was not on the agenda.
It was not on the agenda, DeLashmit learned, so city officials could continue to discuss the agreement and ask questions.
He told board members, “This was after I reached out to them on a couple of occasions to answer any questions.”
DeLashmit said that he addressed the issue during the public comment section of the meeting, telling city officials that he would be available to discuss the agreement.
He said that the next day, he and Collins participated in a teleconference with Fayette County State’s Attorney Joshua Morrison and city representatives City Administrator LaTisha Paslay, City Attorney Ryan Connor and Police Chief Jeff Ray.
“We ironed out what were pretty straightforward questions,” DeLashmit said.
“We’re waiting on them to approve their side of (the agreement),” DeLashmit said.
“We’re hopeful that next Monday, Vandalia will pass it and we’ll get past animal control once and for all,” he said.
DeLashmit also told board members it was his understanding that the Ramsey Village Board was waiting to see what the Vandalia City Council did before acting on its intergovernmental agreement.
A short time later, Collins said “I’ve got to get my two cents in here.
“The only reason it’s not put to bed right now is because of the city of Vandalia, and they’ve got my phone number because they certainly gave it out to a lot of people, and they could have asked those questions a month ago,” Collins said.
During his report to the board, DeLashmit announced that there was some good about the cost of a shelter being reduced.
He said that board Chairman Jeff Beckman had contacted Fayette County Habitat for Humanity, and, because it is not currently building a local home, it is willing to build the animal control shelter, which will result in a cost savings for the county.

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