The Highland County commissioners heard Wednesday from the Highland County Community Action Organization Inc. concerning its recycling efforts, and from the animal control officers regarding their work at the dog pound.
Tara Campbell, the coordinator of Highland County’s recycling and litter prevention program with HCCAO, gave county commissioners an overview of the program and plans for the future during their Wednesday meeting.
“Currently we have 10 bin sites in Highland County, and I’m working with the fire chief in Mowrystown to get one placed at their fire station,” Campbell said. “And he’s also working with Concord Township to possibly get one placed in Sugartree Ridge at the township building.”
She indicated the desire to place another bin in the southwestern part of the county, possibly in the Hamer Township/Buford area.
To combat the lingering problem of illegal dumping of trash in bins earmarked for recycled materials, she said that one of her office’s goals for the future was to reach out to township trustees and fire stations.
“Usually the ones at gas stations and near businesses we keep a pretty good eye on, just because there are those people who like to illegally dump in those bins,” she said. “We seem to have a lot better luck with those placed in townships, fire stations and places like that.”
Recycling bins that had been placed at the former Shopko building in Greenfield, which Campbell said had been purchased by HCCAO, had been moved to a new business location near the village’s railroad tracks on Second Street.
A recycling event dealing with scrap tires and electronics had been scheduled for July, but she said due to the pandemic it had been cancelled and rescheduled for Saturday, Oct. 17 from 8 a.m. to noon in the HCCAO parking lot at the N. High Business Center in Hillsboro.
She said townships would be permitted to bring in discarded tires on Friday evening, with the event open to the public Saturday morning, emphasizing it would only be for tires and electronics.
Armed with statistics and good news from the Highland County Dog Pound, animal control officers Lanny Brown II and Macey Walker told commissioners of a recent, substantial donation of dog food from the Walmart Distribution Center.
“They donated it to the volunteer group,” Brown said. “It’s dry dog food, and none of it’s expired, and it might’ve had a bad seal or a hole poked in some of the bags from a fork lift, but it’s all fresh product, probably not within a couple of weeks old when they brought it out to us.”
Walker shared statistics from the past two years, showing that total calls went from 990 in 2018 to 1,846 in 2019, and was on track to surpass last year’s call total since as the end of June, the dog pound had recorded 1,140 calls.
Three statistics she was proud of were dogs that had been adopted, many have been given to rescue organizations, and the decrease of dogs that had to be euthanized.
Figures showed that in 2018, 159 dogs were adopted, with that figure rising to 173 in 2019. At the half way mark of 2020, adoptions were stalled at 38, which she attributed to the coronavirus pandemic.
Dogs sent to rescue organizations stood at 88 in 2018, rose to 124 in 2019 and was at 58 as of June of this year.
Euthanasia of dogs measured a steady decrease the last two years with 22 having to be put down in 2018, the number dropping to 10 in 2019 and only a single dog in 2020, and Campbell added, “and I hope to keep it that way.”
Commissioner Jeff Duncan emphasized that the euthanasia policy for dogs specified it was only for those that had underlying health conditions or behavior issues such as chronic viciousness that could not be controlled and would prohibit adoption.
Walker said as of Wednesday, the pound held 14 dogs including four puppies, and that the facility had a capacity of sheltering 20 dogs.
In other matters, a pair of resolutions were approved Wednesday, one dealing with revenue from the Coronavirus Relief Fund, and the other being approval of a qualified energy project application for certification for Hecate Energy Highland, LLC.
Commissioner Terry Britton said plans were progressing for the removal of the county barn at the site of the old county home on SR 124 east of Hillsboro.
Earlier in the year, The Barn and Cabin Friend, LLC was given approval to take down the structure at no cost to the county. Work should begin on July 22 and take about two weeks.
Britton said the company specializes in removal, relocation and rebuilding of older barns at a different site.
He said that the operator of the company, Raymond Friend, told him that “our barn was going to Fayette County.”
Reach Tim Colliver at 937-402-2571.