Somervell County and the city of Glen Rose have been unable to agree to terms for extending the previously existing agreement for Animal Control issues originating outside the city limits.
As of Feb. 1, the city suspended the agreement that had allowed its Animal Control officers to take in or pick up stray or lost animals that are not within the Glen Rose city limits.
As a result, county residents who don’t live in the Glen Rose city limits are now required to pay a fee if they bring in an animal to the Animal Control facility.
Also, Glen Rose Animal Control will not be responding to calls regarding animals outside the city limits. That includes potential rabies cases.
Somervell County does not have its own animal control service.
Sheriff’s deputies can still bring in animals to Animal Control in certain cases where an arrest has been made and the animal would otherwise be left unattended.
The City Council and the Somervell County Commissioners have been in negotiations since Oct. 1, when the agreement expired, according to Mayor Sam Moody.
“The city has suspended Animal Control service in the county,” Moody told the Glen Rose Reporter.
Moody said that the City Council has the topic scheduled on its agenda for its next regular meeting, for Monday, Feb. 13.
Glen Rose City Administrator Chester Nolen explained that well over 60 percent of the animals taken in by Animal Control are from outside the city limits.
Nolen noted that the county had been paying the city $58,000 per year to service those animals, but that agreement expired on Sept. 30. Nolen said that the county is not currently contributing that payment to the city because the agreement lapsed.
“Absent a contract, it came down to the situation where we couldn’t afford to stay in that (county) business,” Nolen stated. “It’s a situation where the two sides had different opinions, and that happens sometimes.”
County Commissioner Larry Hulsey stated that the city asked the county to increase its financial contribution by $22,000 per year, to $80,000.
The commissioners countered with an offer to increase its payout — if the city would eventually take over maintenance of three parks that are on county property within the city. Hulsey declined to say how much the county was offering to pay the city in that scenario.
“We offered them a deal and they turned it down,” Hulsey said. “We would subsidize the parks the first three years.
“They keep saying they are two different issues. I can’t speak for the other commissioners, but i think if they’re not willing to help out with the parks, I think it’s a dead issue.”
Individuals who don't reside in the city limits now will pay a fee ($25) to bring in an adult animal to the AC. Animals under six months of age brought in by county residents will require a $15 fee. Dropping off a litter (three or more) will require a $40 fee for county residents.
Nothing has changed for those who reside in the Glen Rose city limits, who are not subject to those fees.
County Judge Danny Chambers said he is hopeful the two sides can come to an agreement on the issue.