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Animal control officer finally approved

Following two failed attempts in July, the Greenwood City Council passed a resolution Monday to hire an animal control/code enforcement officer. The vote was initially 3-2 in favor allowing Mayor Del Gabbard’s vote in favor to pass the resolution.

“He’ll be working in the Planning Department, so he’ll answer to [Planning Director Sonny Bell], but to me overall,” Mayor Del Gabbard said.

Lance Terry and Tim Terry voted against the issue, voicing concerns about where the funding was coming from.

“This is just a warm body,” Lance Terry stated. “I would like to know how much this is going to cost [the city]. We’ll see this again for training and equipment.” Lance Terry further raised concerns that more and more resolutions are pulling money from the “Cash in Bank” account.

In early July, efforts to reinstate an animal control officer failed with another 3-2 vote in favor. Gabbard did not know his vote would pass the issue. The following day, he called a special meeting to take another vote. Councilmen Craig Hamilton and Jimmy Gossett were the only Council members attending. Without a quorum, no vote could be taken.

The city’s Planning Department took over animal control and environmental code enforcement earlier this year after the Police Department’s animal control officer left.

The city works with its veterinarian clinics for mandatory registration of pets and other needs. Annual registration fees are $5 for altered animals and $15 for intact animals. Fees are waived for fixed pets that are microchipped for identification within 90 days of a rabies vaccination.

Competitive bids were opened for two separate projects for the Greenwood Fire Department. A generator for Fire Station #1 had only one bidder at $46,870. Only $30,000 was budgeted for this project. There were three bidders for the new sign for Fire Station #1. The lowest bidder came in at $20,300 which was only $300 over budget. Resolutions were passed increasing the budget to allow for both purchases. Mayor Del Gabbard stated he was against the generator project, voicing a need for a larger generator to cover the entire City complex (Street, Fire, Police, City Hall).

The first readings of an ordinance asking for a 1/4% sales tax to fund a new police station and an election for the people to vote on the issue were passed unanimously. Chief Will Dawson has been discussing the possibility of the Greenwood School Board donating land between Westwood Elementary and Walmart for the new station. If passed, the election will take place in December.

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