Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

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September 9, 2013

Sheriff’s fee hikes gain approval from commissioners (w/meeting briefs)

Commissioners OK increases for animal patrol, services and notices

Corsicana — The price of many fees for duties administered by the sheriff’s office are going up, including those calls for stray animals.

Currently, Navarro County Sheriff’s Deputies often pick up unwanted donkeys, for example, at no cost to the animal owner. They are fed, housed and auctioned for usually much less than the cost of the duties performed.

That will change Oct. 1.

“We have been picking (animals) up pro bono,” Sheriff Elmer Tanner told commissioners at Monday’s regularly scheduled meeting. “We’re not in the business of picking up stray livestock, and we don’t want to be in the business.”

Commissioners unanimously approved a new fee structure that would charge large animal owners $100 for the impoundment and hauling of the first animal, and $50 for each additional animal. Fees for contractors and veterinarian costs will be additional.

The stray fees were one of the three fee schedule hikes approved by commissioners, but one — dealing with paperwork, audio and video record duplication — was later put off, pending further review.

The other dealt with fees for notices and services fees.

The fees approved include:

• Subpoenas and summons, $75;

• Writs of attachment, garnish, sequestration, order of sequestration, restitution, possession and writs not specified, $125;

• Eviction, Justice Court and all other court citations, $75;

• and posting notices, $40.

Additionally, the above fees will include two hours of service, and a standby charge of $30 per hour, per deputy for writs that exceed two hours.

The stray fees include:

• Impoundment/hauling of large animal (cattle, horses, ostriches, emus, llamas, etc.), $100;

• impoundment/hauling of additional large animal, $50;

• impoundment/hauling of small animal (goats, sheep, etc.), five (5) or less, $100;

• impoundment/hauling of each additional small animal, over five (5), $15;

• boarding/feeding large animal per day, per animal, $10;

• boarding/feeding small animal per day, per animal, $5;

• collection fee for each call or each animal as required by statute, $25.

“We need an ironclad rate schedule, published” Tanner said, referencing the stray fees before the vote.

“No matter who you are, this our rate.”

“If anything,” County Judge H.M. Davenport said, “people might figure out it’s cheaper to keep their fences fixed.”

If the animals are sold at auction, and brings more than the rate fees, the animal owner will be entitled to the extra sale money, Tanner said.

The most common type of stray livestock is donkeys, Tanner said. The county picked up 14 in August.

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