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Commissioners pick members of shelter task force

The Rowan County Board of Commissioners on Monday finalized the membership of a new Animal Shelter Task Force that will develop policy recommendations about the facility’s operation.

Commissioners during Monday’s regularly scheduled meeting appointed Craig Pierce as the commissioners’ liaison, two veterinarians and four Rowan County residents to the board unanimously.

The veterinarians appointed were Greg Lowe, who is involved with nonprofit group Shelter Guardians, and Rebekah Julian, involved with nonprofit No Pet Left Behind. The Rowan residents appointed to the board were Nina Dix, Barbara Hart, Jane Hartness and Tracy Waugh. All of the Rowan residents are involved with a local animal nonprofit agency.

No start date has been set for the task force’s meetings. Once a set of recommendations are presented to the Rowan County Board of Commissioners concerning policies at the shelter, the task force will be dissolved.

Hart, who attended Monday’s meeting, said she wants the task force to develop a policy for volunteers to help at the shelter.

“It’s all about the animals,” Hart said about the task force. “It’s not about any one person. This is for our animals, our homeless animals.”

She said a predetermined volunteer program would be increasingly important once a cat wing is built at the Rowan County Animal Shelter. Construction on the wing hasn’t started yet.

Pierce said the need for changes in the shelter’s policies began to emerge after the facility looked to become low kill and stopped using a gas chamber in 2014.

“There’s a lot of input that our citizenry want us to consider, and there’s just no way that this board can listen to everything that’s being talked about,” Pierce said. “There’s a lot of different issues that we really didn’t identify until we started making these transitions.”

He said the aim of the task force is to implement as many suggestions from Rowan residents as possible without them being costly procedures.

In other business from Monday’s meeting:

• Commissioners approved a request to allow the William Kepley family to construct a shelter in memory of their daughter Sarah Kepley-Hackamack, who died in January, at Dan Nicholas Park.

• Commissioners approved a permit to allow The LandTrust for Central North Carolina to exceed the noise ordinance for the nonprofit’s fourth annual Earth Day Jam fundraiser, which takes place April 17-19. The event will be at the Dark Before Dawn farm, located at 2100 7th Street in Salisbury.

The music is scheduled to conclude at 11:30 p.m. on April 17 and 18 and 3 p.m. on April 19.

The Rowan County Planning Department’s staff report also suggested approval.

• Commissioners, on their consent agenda, approved the use of the J.C. Penney Building for an event hosted by the Dunbar Mass Reunion Committee. The event is expected to include about 300 people, according to a letter from the organization.

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246.

 

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