Oak Creek chief suggests animal control change

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The Oak Creek Town Board began looking at housing its lost or loose dogs in the town instead of driving each animal to the Steamboat Springs Animal Shelter, which is what officers do now.

Police Chief Linda Koile told the Town Board that by taking each dog that officers catch to Steamboat Springs, the town is wasting money on fuel and car upkeep, as well as taking officers out of the town for extended periods of time.

The Town Board approved a resolution appointing Toponas resident Barbara Gehl to the South Routt Library District board of trustees.

The board approved a resolution accepting the preliminary Sierra View subdivision improvements.

Mayor Cargo Rodeman encouraged a Town Board member to attend the Routt County Building Code Committee meetings today and in November to represent the interests of Oak Creek. Mike Kien said he'd try to go to the meetings.

The board agreed to meet only Nov. 10 and Dec. 8 because of holiday conflicts.

Discussed what fees, if any, the town receives from people being arrested for DUIs in Oak Creek. Board member J. Elliott was concerned that while officers are tied up for hours processing a DUI arrest that the town does not receive any reimbursement or fee from what the person pays. Chief Linda Koile is going to look into it.

"We can assume now, after educating our citizens, that everyone knows their dogs cannot run around town unattended. We have been giving people warnings. We have been giving people breaks on the ticketing, but we've been taken advantage of," she said.

Koile proposed adopting an ordinance that would allow officers to hold dogs in Oak Creek for 24 to 48 hours. Pet owners would have to pay a fee to pick up their dogs.

Koile said Hayden has a similar holding policy for its stray dogs, and that the town also charges pet owners when their dogs are taken to Steamboat Springs after the temporary holding period is over.

The Town Board was receptive to Koile's plan, but most board members thought the dogs should be held for only 24 hours.

Koile said she understood her department would be taking on more responsibility by having to care for the animals and maintain the kennels. But she said that in the long run, the town would benefit from keeping animals in Oak Creek.

Mayor Kathy "Cargo" Rode--man told Koile to work out the details of the plan -- including how much the town would charge for holding the dogs and transporting them to Steamboat.

Rodeman said the Town Board would revisit the proposal at its next meeting.

In other business, the Town Board decided not to make any changes to its water rate schedule.

Because the town is not able to move forward with installing water meters, Rodeman said the town should look at changing the way it bills water users.

There is a "restaurant without a bar" category on the schedule, but not a "bar without a restaurant," a category Rodeman suggested adding to the schedule.

After some deliberation, board members decided not to change anything on the schedule until test meters had been installed at several businesses to compare how much water the different businesses use.

The issue will be discussed at a future meeting.

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