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Supervisors consider leash laws for county parks and grounds

Debra Moore
Staff Writer

Owners who let their dogs run amok on county property, such as parks and ball fields, have county leaders considering leash laws.

Cleaning up the fecal matter has become increasingly problematic for county workers, and in some cases poses health issues.

“On many occasions our employees have had to go home to change their clothes and shower because their weed eater has struck a pile of waste,” Facilities Director Dony Sawchuk wrote in a report to the Board of Supervisors.

Facilities workers have installed two pet waste stations at Gansner Park so that bags are available on site and they plan to install more in other areas.

Sawchuk, who spoke during the Board of Supervisors’ June 3 meeting, has also received complaints about dogs bothering picnickers and running loose in ballparks.

“These facilities were designed for the enjoyment of all, pet owners and non-pet owners alike,” Sawchuk said.

He also wants a leash law that could be enforced at the airports to prevent dogs from running onto the runways.

In response to a question posed by Supervisor Lori Simpson about possible punishments for offenders, Sawchuk said he would recommend a fine.

A public hearing must be held before a fine can be implemented.

Supervisor Sherrie Thrall suggested that the leash law be extended to the courthouse grounds.

The supervisors took the first step to approve the leash law and pet feces ordinances as recommended, which will apply to Gansner Park, Chester Park, Story Ball Field, Rotary Ball Field, Dame Shirley Plaza, the courthouse grounds and the Taylorsville Campground.

Pet owners will be required to pick up after their pets and to use leashes no longer than 8 feet.

Taking money to make money

The state’s Division of Fairs and Expositions is giving the Plumas-Sierra County Fair $36,000 and Fair Manager John Steffanic wants to use a portion of the proceeds to install a commercial ice machine.

“The ice machine will eliminate the need for us to contract with an ice company for the fair and will become a revenue generator,” he wrote in his recommendation to the supervisors.

In addition to the ice machine, Steffanic wants to purchase a commercial refrigerator, a storage container and folding chairs and tables.

The remaining $16,000 would be used for repairs to the water system and structural improvements to some of the buildings.

“What you are going to buy is going to enhance our services,” Board Chairman Jon Kennedy said. His fellow supervisors agreed and approved Steffanic’s spending plan.

New sound

The boardroom now has new sound to go with its video capabilities. Ken Donnell, of Donnell’s MusicLand in Greenville, installed the new system that debuted for the June 3 meeting. It is expected to produce better sound for those watching the live-streamed meetings.

Positions to fill

Acting Chief Probation Officer Dan Prince is looking for two employees — an office assistant and a probation report writer. The first will be filled from an existing list of applicants, and Prince will recruit within the department for the latter.

Sheriff Greg Hagwood will also look internally when he hires a new jail commander.

Hagwood has rewritten the job description for the jail commander, and now the person filling that position must be a sworn peace officer.

“It’s a markedly different environment,” Hagwood said of the county jail, compared to years past.

“It’s more like a prison now,” Supervisor Lori Simpson said. In the wake of Assembly Bill 109, individuals who would previously be housed in state prison are now held locally, and for greater lengths of time.

“Prior to AB 109 the average stay of an inmate was less than 40 days,” Hagwood wrote in his request. “Currently, one inmate is serving a five-year sentence.”

Social Services Director Elliott Smart also received authorization to fill a vacant office assistant position due to an internal promotion.

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