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Updated policy coming for town strays

The River Falls Town Board discussed the final steps of its new animal control process at the regular Feb. 20 meeting.

Town Board Supervisor LeRoy Kusilek is responsible for taking in stray animals around the township and holding them until they're claimed.

The Town Board is developing a new process that will require unlicensed stray animals to be moved to a local vet for inspection and vaccinations, then taken to the Goodhue County, Minn., Humane Society.

Owners who claim their pets will be responsible for $65 in fees, and any other fees that accrue while their pet is kenneled.

If no one claims the animal then the town will have to cover those fees.

Kusilek is still researching area veterinarians to contract with. The board is expected to sign the animal-control process at the next meeting, Monday March 5.

The board also continued discussing the purchase of a new dump truck.

Brian Webber, of the town highway department, brought in bids for a single-axel truck ranging from about $52,000 to $61,904 for the truck itself, and $47,000 to $52,000 for the equipment.

The prices included the trade-in value of the current dump truck.

"Single axels have more maneuverability and a shorter turning radius needed for plowing," said Town Board Chairwoman Diana Smith.

The town will use about $30,000 for the eventual purchase of a new dump truck.

The town Board has already budgeted that amount this year to pay off the current dump truck. Next year another $30,000 will be budgeted toward buying a new truck. No date has been set for the purchase of a new one.

The board also gave Webber permission to start getting bids for a new pickup truck. The current truck's days are said to be numbered.

"It's not dependable at all," said Webber of the 1986 Ford pickup.

The board will officially vote on the resolution at the next meeting. Until then Webber will gather bids.

Town Recycling Administrator Michele Delong-Reiter was present to discuss a past request to allow town resident Carl McLagan to take and donate recycled freezers and water heater tanks to the Amish for their use as storage containers and horse troughs.

There is a current town law that requires anyone who takes recycled property to have a recycling permit.

"I don't want to give recycled items with Freon in them," explained Delong-Reiter. "Freon does damage to the ozone, and there are already enough problems concerning the ozone."

The board considered selling the property to McLagan, but that raised ethical issues as well.

"We charge people to take these items, telling them that they will be recycled," Delong-Reiter said. "We need to consider ethics and liability."

Said Smith, "I'm afraid to open the door to this kind of thing, let's stick with the ordinance as is."

The Town Board will hold a public hearing at the March 5 meeting before developing a moratorium for frac-sand mining.