Bradley County and the city of Cleveland will enter into a six-month contract to provide full animal control services outside the city limits.
Bradley County commissioners voted 10-1 to accept the offer of six months for $120,000 during a special called meeting Tuesday.
Second district Commissioner Ed Elkins was the lone dissenting vote. Elkins said he received several calls from people who said they only want the county to spend money on a long-term solution.
He said going with the six-month option leaves less funding for developing a long-term solution.
Commissioner J. Adam Lowe, Jeff Yarber and Bill Ledford were absent. Yarber said in Monday’s work session that he would be unable to attend the special called session due to prior plans with his children. Chairman Louie Alford previously mentioned Ledford was having health issues.
The Cleveland City Council voted Monday to accept the option, or a three-month option at $75,000. During a meeting of an ad hoc committee, established to develop a short-term solution, the six-month option had been discussed as a better option to provide stability for city animal control employees.
Fourth district Commissioner Charlotte Peak-Jones shared with the Commission the results of an informal Facebook survey she conducted which shows 65 percent of respondents in favor of the Commission supporting a nonprofit service to fill the need.
Seventh District Commissioner Bill Winters said that by approving the six-month option, the Commission was saving $5,000 a month. He said it also gives the Commission six months to decide what it wants to do.
Applause filled the room after the Commission’s vote. Residents concerned about lost pets and strays have spoken before the Commission and to individual commissioners about the need for action to be taken.
The former long-term contract for animal control with the city expired on June 30 when it was not renewed.
A long-term solution for animal control outside the city limits has not been adopted. The county has requested proposals from nonprofit groups to fill the need. The deadline for proposals is Thursday.