Commission tables request

BUCKHANNON — After being approached by a local non-profit organization, the Upshur County Commission has decided to table a request for funds until speaking with the Lewis County Commission.

Animal Outreach Project Vice President Samantha Atchinson requested funds from the commission after the organization assisted many community pet owners and unwanted animals with spay and neuter costs.

Established in 2015, the group of volunteers aim to “help community members in need.”

“Our main focus is spay and neuter assistance, but we also have a pet supply bank,” she explained. “We offer things like food, shelter and other supplies for pets and people who are needing them.”

In order to assist folks with the cost of spay and neuter procedures, Atchinson advised the group has received grants, donations and host fundraisers.

The non-profit group was awarded $10,000 from the West Virginia Department of Agriculture’s spay and neuter assistance grant; however, AOP had to match funds with $9,500 through other grants, fundraisers and donations. The grant assists with the cost of spay, neuter and rabies vaccinations.

Through the grant, 234 animals in the community have been spayed and neutered between Jan. 23 and July 27.

“So our request from you today is utilize some of the county’s spay and neuter fund to farther our goal with helping the number of unwanted pets in our community,” Atchinson said.

She further asked that the commission match the WVDA’s $10,000 grant out of the $48,000 spay and neuter department fund.

“This will allow us to help even more pets and animals in our community,” Atchinson said. “If granted this opportunity, we would also like to work with the Lewis-Upshur Animal Control Facility and work with those spay and neuter policies and their adoption polices.”

Atchinson recognized that spaying and neutering every single animal in the facility “would not be feasible at all.”

“But we would like to work directly with the adoptions,” she said. “All animals that were adopted could go directly through our program … “

Atchinson advised the group primarily takes the animals to Dr. Eileen Lammie of All Creatures Great in Small in Elkins to perform the spay and neuter procedures. There, the group is given a discount, with prices ranging from approximately $50 and up depending on the animal’s size.

Because the spay and neuter funds are used in Upshur and Lewis counties, commissioner Troy “Buddy” Brady made a motion to table the item for a later date until confirming with Lewis County officials.

Commissioner Terry Cutright seconded the motion, which then passed unanimously.

County Administrator Carrie Wallace recommended that the volunteers with AOP approach the Lewis County Commission with the specifics of the request.

In other news,

commissioners:

• Approved and signed an Esri renewal quote in the amount of $4,450 for the period Oct. 1 to Sept. 30, 2019. Of this amount, $1,200 is to be paid by the assessor’s revaluation fund.

• Reviewed and approved Upshur County Emergency Operations Plan Annex F – shelter and mass care and Annex G – health and medical.

• Received a request from Robert. L. Martin, chairman of the Robert C. Byrd Corridor H Highway Authority, requesting the commission to consider making a financial contribution to the Corridor H Authority during fiscal year 2019. Commissioners made a motion to table the item until January 2019.

• Approved Carol Cook and Faina Reasons as volunteers at the Lewis-Upshur Animal Control Facility.

The next commission meeting will be held at 9 a.m. Aug. 16 in the Upshur County Courthouse Annex.

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