It was a by-the-book Monroe County Commission meeting for February as the commissioners did everything from approve overtime for the Sheriff’s Office to donate surplus material to local volunteer fire departments.

The commission also voted 8-2 to hire Dennis Graham as the new Emergency Management Agency director and then voted 10-0 to hire a new IT person to assist with technical issues in county offices.

They also heard from Barbara Pierce, who said she is concerned about the Animal Shelter, which currently sits on private rented land, and wondered if there are any plans to build a new shelter on county land.

“What would happen if the current land was sold out from under the county?” Pierce asked. “I have been told there is a plan being worked on, but if the county found itself without a shelter for even a small period of time, you could have packs of roaming dogs, which could lead to diseases spreading.”5

Commissioner Paulette Summey said there is a committee looking at whether or not the county could have an animal shelter in a location owned by the county.

A representative from the Monroe County Friends of Animals said they have had two meetings with County Mayor Mitch Ingram about a new animal shelter.

Pierce said she was glad a plan is being worked on but urged the county to not take too long.

The County Commission also heard from Thomas Elrod, who wanted to know if a road running by property that has been blocked by a fallen tree for many years, belongs to the county, him or someone else in the neighborhood.

The commissioners told him not all public roads belong to the county, but a road is considered public if people have used it for a number of years to get from one place to another. There were also no records indicating who the road might belong to.

The County Commission also approved $5,000 to buy souvenirs to sell for the county’s 200 Bicentennial Celebration and signed on to support broadband legislation that would bring high-speed internet to rural areas.

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