Archbold, OH

Fulton Co. Commissioner Discusses County Agencies

Joe Short, Fulton County Commissioner, discussed three Fulton County agencies and organizations he is involved with to the Archbold Area Chamber of Commerce Monday, Oct. 22.

Short discussed the Fulton County Dog Pound, The County’s Senior Center, and Triangular Processing.

(He also discussed developments at the county airport, which are discussed in an article elsewhere in this newspaper.)

1,500 Dogs

Short told chamber members Pete Skeldon, county dog warden, and Brian Banister, deputy warden, deal with more than 1,500 dogs each year, including 150 pit bulls and Rottweilers.

Short said Skeldon estimates there are 15,000 dogs in Fulton County, only 9,000 are licensed. That leaves 6,000 unlicensed dogs in the county.

He said the wardens do their best to find and cite violators.

A dog license is $20 per year; a person can adopt a dog from the county dog pound for $15. Owners whose dogs are picked up by the warden are charged $5 per day for boarding, plus there is a $10 redemption fee.

But the dog wardens deal with more issues than unlicensed dogs. With the closing of the Fulton County Humane Society, Short said the wardens deal with cruelty complaints, “because as they (Skeldon and Banister) say, if they don’t do it, who will?” Short said.

Calls typically handled by the dog warden include dogs in livestock barns, Coyotes in livestock pens, foxes in chicken coops, and dogs running loose.

They’ve also dealt with exotic animals, such as ostriches, Emus, pythons, and even two cases involving black bears.

Short said once, the Fulton County Dog Wardens were called to Lucas County to assist an anti-drug unit.

Once they arrived on the scene of the drug investigation, they found four alligators were being used to guard a place where drugs were stored. The wardens were able to capture the reptiles.

Short said in most cases, when a citation is issued, Ohio law dictates where each dollar of fine and court cost money goes.

However, the most common ticket issued by the dog wardens is not mentioned in the Ohio law.

Short said of the $100 fine, only $20 goes to the county’s general fund to support the dog wardens.

As a result, Short said he is working with Bruce Goodwin, state representative (R-Defi- ance) to draft state legislation to direct more money to the dog pound.

Senior Center

Short said when Sandy Griggs, director of the Fulton County Senior Center, hires employees, she looks for people who are extremely caring, flexible, and conscientious.

The senior center delivers meals to over 60 county residents each week, helping the seniors to remain independent, living in their own homes.

Those who deliver the meals don’t just drop off the food and leave; they look after those who receive their deliveries.

The delivery drivers have helped people who have fallen and lay on the floor for hours, and they’ve found people who were disoriented after getting their medications mixed up.

The senior center provides more than meals. They provide light housekeeping assistance for seniors. The senior center itself is a place were seniors can drop in and visit with friends and neighbors.

The center even provides a toenail clinic. Short said many seniors can’t bend over to trim their toenails.

Having a podiatrist do the job costs about $60, he said.

The senior center is funded by its own property tax levy. Short said it does not draw funds from the county general fund.

Triangular Processing

In 2006, the City of Wauseon opted to give up its recycling operation. State funding for recycling had dried up, and while the annual cost of the center was cut from $175,000 per year to $100,000, it was still too much.

Short said Fulton County took over the job, because state law requires the commissioners to be sure recycling is offered.

After meeting with officials from the Fulton County Board of Developmental Disabilities, Triangular Processing was established.

Now, the DD Board clients, who in many cases are mentally retarded or have multiple handicaps, work in Triangular’s building on Co. Rd. 14, sorting, processing, and packaging a wide variety of recyclable materials.

The facility can recycle aluminum and steel cans, numbers one and two plastics, soap, paper, and even old electronic and computer equipment.

The clients, Short said, “love coming to work, they love working, they love being productive.”

He said in 2006, the facility paid $2,500 in payroll taxes; this year, it will be more than $10,000.

During 2006, Short said revenue at Triangular Processing was $57,000; this year, Triangular is on track to generate $80,000 in revenue.

The number of clients working at Triangular Process increased from 42 in 2006 to 47 today.

The commissioners took $25,000 from the general fund; now, the recycling center could generate $25,000.-David Pugh

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