Hold time for shelter strays on the agenda for Aiken County Council meeting

September 18, 2018

Aiken County Council is scheduled to consider the second reading of an ordinance that would make changes in the minimum hold time for strays at the Aiken County Animal Shelter.

The panel of elected officials will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Council Chambers on the third floor of the Aiken County Government Center.

Under state law, “the hold period for an unidentified animal, one whose owner is not known, is five days,” County Attorney Jim Holly told the Aiken Standard earlier this month.

But the law doesn’t specify whether the period should be based on calendar days or business days.

Currently, the hold period at the Animal Shelter is five business days, but the ordinance that County Council is proposing would make it five calendar days.

In addition, the ordinance would change the minimum hold time for animals whose owners can be determined from 10 days to 14 calendar days.

In all cases, the minimum hold times would not include the first day an animal arrives at the shelter.

Before voting on the ordinance’s second reading, Council will hold a public hearing.

“We’ve had some feedback, but it hasn’t been a lot,” said County Administrator Clay Killian about the proposed change from five business days to five calendar days for strays whose owners can’t be identified.

“From what I’ve heard, the one thing that people are concerned about is that the animals would be euthanized faster, but that is not the case at all,” Killian continued. “The goal is to get them on the adoption floor faster or to have them eligible for transfer (to another facility or rescue group).”

In another matter, the consent agenda for Tuesday’s meeting includes a resolution involving the Whiskey Road Corridor Study.

County Engineering Director Teresa Crain has recommended the selection of Johnson, Mirmiran & Thompson Inc., or JMT, as the firm to create the designs for the stormwater drainage portion of the improvement project outlined in the Corridor Study.

The county issued a request for qualifications in July. The Whiskey Road Engineering Committee ended up reviewing presentations from two vendors and giving the “Highest Average Total Points Score” to JMT, according to the resolution.

The resolution would authorize county officials to negotiate a contract with JMT and to award it to that company if the proposed cost is “fair and reasonable.”

The firm’s corporate headquarters is in Hunt Valley, Maryland.

The Aiken County Government Center is at 1930 University Parkway.

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