MURPHY, N.C. – The future of a red, nocturnal bull loose in the Unaka community was discussed at the Cherokee County Board of Commissioners April 2 meeting.
Linda Dubois spoke in public commentary on behalf of herself and her husband, Jon Dubois. Linda DuBois explained they have been residents in the Unaka community for over five years, and in that time, they have invested labor and finances over $1,000 to clear a 5 to 6-acre portion of their 15-acre property that composes the front yard of their residence.
“Lately, a red and curly haired bull has been tromping in our front yard to eat our sprouting green grass that we have seeded, mowed and carefully attended and, of course, leaving hundreds of piles of stinking diarrhea every night,” DuBois stated, while also presenting the board with pictures of the damage sustained in her yard.
The Unaka resident continued to explain the bull has been “free ranging” in their yard at night only for the past month, and during the day, is nowhere to be seen. DuBois also stated she had spoken with the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) about the situation on four different occasions, and the CCSO conducted an investigation to determine the owner of the bull, but no nearby residents claimed ownership. DuBois then asked the BOC what they could do to help her.
“So nobody’s claiming this bull?” Commissioner C.B. McKinnon asked DuBois, which DuBois affirmed was correct. “(It’s) probably a $1,500 to $2,000 animal. Why don’t you claim it and sell it?”
After DuBois asked of the penalty of cattle theft in North Carolina, McKinnon reminded DuBois that no one had claimed it and it was invading her property.
After further discussion, Sheriff Derrick Palmer offered to meet personally with DuBois the next day to discuss options to resolve the situation in accordance with free-roaming livestock laws.
Later, the commissioners voted to affirm a county ordinance already in place concerning name changes for roads. According to Sam Davis, of the Cherokee County Emergency Management Agency, the consent of 75 percent of property owners on a road is needed to change the name of a road.
At the March 19 commissioners meeting, Marble resident Anthony McCray addressed the BOC of his desire to change the name of Lambert Road, where he resides, back to Lower Vengeance Creek Road. McCray claimed the road name had changed in 2014 to reflect the surname of another resident, Ronald Lambert, without going through the proper channels of procedure. McCray also stated he felt a road should not be given a surname unless all residents of the road have that same surname.
Ronald Lambert, also in attendance at that meeting, told the commission that reverting back to the previous name would cause undue financial stress for him since he is a licensed foster parent through the state and all of his licensing would have to be changed to reflect the road name change.
After affirming the ordinance, the board told McCray and Lambert, both again present for the meeting, to resolve the issue among themselves, and if 75 percent of the residents on Lambert Road desired a new name, the residents could proceed with the process according to the ordinance.
Daphne Dockery, register of deeds, addressed the board about establishing a definite daily deadline time for all land recordings submitted to the register of deeds office. Chairman Dr. Dan Eichenbaum suggested setting the deadline time at 4:30 p.m. and Dockery told the board the sooner daily deadline would help curtail overtime among employees in the register of deeds office. The issue was tabled so as to give Dockery more time to collect data to assist the board with making a decision at a future meeting.
Also in public commentary, Aurelia Stone asked the commissioners to consider adopting a county ordinance that would require vacation rentals by owner (VRBOs) to have regular inspections and to contain fire extinguishers and carbon monoxide detectors. According to Stone, state law currently does not require these mandates as it does for commercially owned vacation rentals. Stone stated this lack of requirements puts guests at risk when renting a VRBO.
The board approved and accepted two budget revisions. The first was an increase for revenue in the amount of $591 from a Smart Start Grant. The other revision was also an increase for an increase in the amount of $9,467 for state health promotion funding for mass media or messaging campaign to promote healthy communities.
Commissioners scheduled three budget meetings for Friday, April 27, at 5:30 p.m., Thursday, May 31, at 6:30 p.m., and Thursday, June 28, at 6:30 p.m. in anticipation of finalizing the county budget for fiscal year 2018-2019. The April 27 meeting will be a departmental budget hearing, the May 31 meeting will be a budget work session for the county commissioners and the June 28 meeting is scheduled for the final adoption of the 2018-19 fiscal year county budget.
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