While it appeared that the issue of Dawsonville's animal control had been solved, concerned Lumpkin County citizens have spoken otherwise to their county commission.
In its Sept. 1 work session, the Lumpkin County Board of Commissioners chose not to pursue an intergovernmental agreement with the city of Dawsonville regarding animal control.
"I don't feel the county itself had an issue with housing the animals. It was the recommendation from the staff to proceed with the agreement," said Lumpkin County Board of Commissioners Chairman Chris Dockery. "I feel the concern from citizens played a factor."
The agreement would have given Lumpkin County $45 per animal sheltered at its facilities.
Previously, the city had a tenuous contract with Dawson County to take care of any stray or dangerous animals within its city limits, with the city using county animal control at the cost of nearly $300 per animal picked up.
"Lumpkin County is always willing to consider assisting our neighboring municipalities," said Lumpkin County Manager Stan Kelley. "However, in this instance, the board of commissioners decided to move in a different direction."
Dawsonville and Lumpkin County officials have each toured the Dahlonega facility and were assured that there would be more than enough room for Dawsonville's animals. However, the public reportedly felt otherwise.
"[Lumpkin County Animal Shelter] staff explained there was adequate room for additional animals," Dockery said. "I don't think the revenue that would be generated was significant enough to warrant the outcry we were hearing from opposition. It was the opinion by the majority, not all of the board not to enter the agreement."
The motion to approve with Dawsonville was not outright denied, but instead died on the floor for a lack of second.
Dawsonville Mayor James Grogan said that, while the city may have been slightly premature in its initial announcement, it is now reviewing alternative plans for animal control.
"We are still putting together another deal," he said. "We should have something completed and ready to announce within the next two weeks."