Without Millage, Strays Could Plague Streets 6-16-2010 - WNEM TV 5

Without Millage, Strays Could Plague Streets 6-16-2010

Saginaw residents could be asked to pay a bit more in taxes come this fall, in order to keep the doors open at the Dow Event Center and experts employed at the county animal care center.
Many of the dogs and cats held at the Saginaw County Animal Control Center were once strays, but thanks to officers who rescued them, they’re waiting for a new home in a place more comfortable than city streets.
But they too could soon be the next victims of budget cuts in Saginaw County.
"If you see one stray dog, you could soon see three to 10,” said Valerie McCullough, director of the Saginaw County Animal Care Center.
To avoid layoffs, the center is asking the Saginaw County Board of Commissioners to put a new tax levy on the November ballot.
The new tax would last 10 years, save five jobs and cover the shelter’s $709,000 budget.
Anyone owning a home valued at $100,000 would pay an additional $7.50 per year.
If the proposed tax is voted down, animal control officers most likely won’t be responding as quickly, if at all, to calls of dogs living in abandoned homes throughout the city.
“If it doesn't pass and the proposed budget goes through, that service will no longer be an option other than what police can provide -- and that will be minimal,” McCullough.
Tuesday night, the board did approve the move to put the Dow Event Center millage on the ballot.
Stay with WNEM.com and TV5 as this story develops.
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