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Parish-wide animal control considered in Livingston

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LIVINGSTON - The Livingston Parish Council will discuss the need for parish-wide animal control at its council meeting Thursday.

Right now in the parish, animal control only exists in the city limits of Denham Springs, Walker and within the town of Livingston. Parish Councilman Ricky Goff wants to find a way to pay for animal control throughout the parish.

"It's extremely needed for the parish, for our future and really for the health of the parish, not to mention stray dogs and kids running around, things of that nature, but it's extremely important for our parish and for our future," he said.

Goff says taxpayers could get a tax break while also getting more services if voters approve a proposed health unit tax in May and animal control in October. In November, voters shot down a 5 mill tax renewal for the parish's health unit, so the council decided to cut the tax in half and place it on the May ballot. If that tax is approved by voters it would free up 2.5 mills of what taxpayers already pay now.

"So I would like to look at possibly put a one mill back on the ballot for animal control," said Goff. "We've always had a problem of funding animal control. How do we do it? This is a mechanism now that allows to do it."

If Goff's plans work, taxpayers would still pay 1.5 mills less in taxes than what's currently on the books. Denham Springs Animal Control Director Vanessa King says parish-wide animal control would help out smaller shelters in the parish.

"It would take a lot of burden off us. You know our numbers would go down. We would be able to do a whole lot more with the money that we have if there was parish animal control," she said. "Animals would get more one-on-one time. We'd be able to move animals a lot quicker."

A 1 mill tax for animal control would generate around $460,000, according to Goff.

 

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