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Cattery legislative effort still alive

November 05, 2000

Cattery legislative effort still alive



By SCOTT BUTKI / Staff Writer


A controversial request requiring some property owners to get a cattery license will be discussed by the Washington County Commissioners Tuesday.

The county has dropped proposals to install cattery requirements through county ordinance this year, but on Tuesday they will vote on whether to seek state legislative authority to implement such a proposal in the future, County Attorney Richard Douglas said Friday.

If approved, the cattery requirements could become part of the animal control ordinance. Usually legislation takes effect in October, he said.

The present proposal does not state at which point property owners need to get a cattery license, he said. An earlier proposal tagged that number at property owners with more than eight cats aged more than six months.

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The conversation will be part of a larger discussion about the county's proposed requests of the local delegation to the Maryland General Assembly. The commissioners last discussed the request as a group at a Sept. 26 meeting.

The next joint meeting with the delegation is Nov. 17.

But Del. Robert McKee said Friday he thinks the commissioners would be wise to not pass the request on to the delegation.

The delegation, at least in informal discussions, is not enthusiastic about the proposal, he said.

Washington County Commissioners President Gregory Snook said it will be up to the County Commissioners on whether to pass the request on to the delegation given McKee's comment.

The discussion is scheduled to occur at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday. While it is listed as a legislative workshop, not a public hearing, it is up to the commissioners on whether to allow public input.

Marie Wampler of Halfway, a former Washington County Animal Control Authority member, said she and other opponents to the proposal will attend Tuesday's meeting.

If the proposal is approved, then they will distribute petitions to give residents a chance to let the delegation know what they think of the suggested change, she said. The petitions are already written though not yet distributed, she said.

With all of the problems in Washington County, she can't believe that going after people with more than eight cats is really a priority, she said.

Also on the possible delegation request list is a proposal to get state funding for a Hagerstown Regional Airport runway extension and a proposal to get enabling authority to implement a county transfer tax.

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