County support of animal shelter is lacking

An article in the Aug. 24 Marshall News Messenger left the impression that the Harrison County Commissioners have agreed to contribute $39,000 toward the construction of a new animal control facility in Marshall.

Many wondered why such a paltry amount? It turns out that the impression was incorrect. Unfortunately, the reality is worse.

Marshall Animal Control serves both city and county, and the county funds $39,100 of the department’s $143,000 annual operating expenses. This is not overly generous, considering that well over half of the animals that wind up in Marshall’s shelter come from outside the city.

The county has committed only to continue contributing the annual $39.1K, and nothing more. Not one thin dime for the construction of the new shelter.

The county will certainly benefit from the new facility, with its expanded capabilities.

Why, then, the refusal to do its part? I don’t know, and even if I attended their scheduled meetings every other Wednesday (at 9 a.m.), the public is not invited to speak on anything not on the agenda, and it’s never been placed on the agenda.

I’m willing to give the county commissioners the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps they don’t prioritize a new animal shelter because their constituents have not communicated its importance to them.

I challenge the commissioners to place this on their agenda so they can hear directly from the public on the subject.

In the meantime, please contact the county judge and his commissioners to courteously tell them that you support Marshall’s new animal control facility and want to see the county step up to the plate with a meaningful contribution toward the construction costs.

Everyone in Harrison County is a constituent of the commissioners court, not just those outside the city.

Judge Chad Sims,, 903-935-8401

William Hatfield — Pct. 1,, 903-687-2320

Zephaniah Timmins — Pct. 2,, 903-935-8402 ext 1012

Phillip Mauldin — Pct. 3,, 903-660-1702

Jay Ebarb — Pct. 4,, 903-777-2141

Linda Harber, Marshall