The Summit County Council will not only address leash laws but also the entire animal control ordinance at its weekly meeting Wednesday, July 16.
The meeting will be held at the Summit County Courthouse, 60 North Main Street, Coalville. The work session commences at 3:30 p.m. with a discussion of the county's animal control code and leash laws, and public input is scheduled for 6 p.m.
County Council was presented three options for new leash laws by the Leash Law Task Force on June 18. The task force, led by Councilwoman Kim Carson and Director of Human Resources and Animal Control Brian Bellamy, was asked to go back and tweak the second of three proposals, which most of the Council seemed to favor.
The second option, according to language proposed by the task force, at the time involved requiring dog owners to buy an annual off-leash dog tag if they want to make their dog eligible for all approved off-leash areas. The pet owner would be required to sign a liability waiver and agree to abide by all rules and regulations associated with off-leash areas. The funds received from this tag would be used to offset maintenance and enforcement. The tag may be revoked if the dog misbehaves, is aggressive or is not under voice control. If a dog's tag is revoked, the dog and owner must successfully complete dog-training sessions. The tag may then be purchased in a subsequent year with proof of completion of an approved training program.
In June, the task force also highlighted the need for more bodies in animal control, which in 2005 had eight full-time positions; in 2014, there are only five. In addition, Bellamy has been sharing the duties of both director of personnel and animal control.
The animal control ordinance was last amended in 2011, and Deputy County Attorney Helen Strachan and Bellamy have been reviewing the ordinance and will be suggesting changes to the ordinance as a whole.
A copy of the proposed amendments to the county's animal control ordinance will be presented to the entire council Wednesday. The council will be asked for input and policy direction regarding licensure, licensing exemptions, electronic collars, barking dogs, tethering, and other issues.
"A lot of it will be new information," said Carson.
In other business, the council will hear a presentation regarding forest insect and disease conditions from Area Forester PJ Abraham of the Division of Forestry, Fire & State Lands at about 5 p.m.; discuss action on the possible annexation of the Tollgate Canyon Area into the North Summit Fire Service District at about 6 p.m.; and hold a public hearing regarding an expansion for Tanger Outlets at about 6:30 p.m.