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County commissioners to consider shelter funding

The Nye County Animal Advisory Committee inched closer toward funding options that could help to generate much-needed revenue for the Nye County Animal Shelter and other sanctuaries across the county.

On Thursday, members of the Nye County Animal Advisory Committee hammered out a list of recommendations for Nye County commissioners that specified several short and long-term funding options.

As one of the short-term options, the committee recommended asking the towns of Nye County to share the cost of of maintaining animals in the shelter that are awaiting disposition by the courts. The towns would be assisting only with animals that came from within their boundaries, according to the draft that was drawn up by the committee.

Additionally, options for parcel assessments and taxes were forwarded to the county commissioners. The move would require changes to the state law that has to be preceded by submission of a Bill Draft Request (BDR) which can be done by legislators, legislative committees, the governor, state agencies or local governments.

“Based on the (state laws) today, certainly, I would look for this committee to recommend some (bill draft) submissions for the next legislation that would change that. And I would hope to see this recommended to the board of county commissioners that they dedicate their BDR to just that legislation,” Nye County Manager Pam Webster said.

Nye County Animal Shelter, the largest in the county, closed its doors to the public last June due to dire financial straits. Officials later gave the troubled sanctuary a lifeline of two months that was propped up by $7,588 out of contingency money.

Webster said she is looking into the General Improvement District for the possibility of a per-parcel fee.

“Right now, I’m just looking on potential, and then we can define what the limits might be, but there’s a possibility that we could do animal control through that district as well as the shelters. So, it would be a countywide district that would fund shelters and as appropriate either by community or in the north (or) in the south or however we are able to make it work. Right now, we are just at the ‘can we do it kind of stage,'” she said.

Members of the committee also removed set fees for the shelter in anticipation of a non-government agency taking over the governance of the shelter.

“This is to allow a non-government entity to set shelter fees, such as adoption fees. The fee schedule is set by the county commissioners, we have the DA review anything being forwarded to the county commissioners as an action item,” Animal Advisory Board Chairman Scott Shoemaker said.

The committee has yet to get a response from the district attorney on the proposed changes to Title 6 of Nye County code that would allow for fines assessment.

“The fine language is the exact verbiage in the code for allowing the county to assess fines. The district attorney approves it and it gets forwarded to the BOCC for approval to amend the Nye County code,” Shoemaker said.

The Animal Advisory Committee continues to research additional options for funding operations of the shelters, according to the documents. As vetted, those options will be brought to the Nye County Board of Commissioners for consideration.

Contact reporter Daria Sokolova at dsokolova@pvtimes.com. On Twitter: @dariasokolova77.

 

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