Commissioners eye coyote problem


By LPR Staff

Complaints from some rural property owners have prompted the Caldwell County Commissioners Court to consider what can be done about a growing coyote population in Caldwell County.
“I had a complaint from one resident who saw a pack of coyotes get into a pen and drag off one of their newborn calves,” said Precinct 3 Comm

issioner Neto Madrigal on Monday morning. “I”m told that in some areas of the county, they”re really bad.”
Commissioners Tom Bonn and Charles Bullock agreed that there seems to have been an increase in coyote population in their precincts. However, as with many issues in Caldwell County, although the Commissioners hope to find a viable solution, the main hurdle is financing.
“There are programs with the state where they can send out trappers,” said County Judge H.T. Wright, “but those cost as much as $2,500 per month. And then you have to see how successful they are going to be and consider what parts of the county you want to focus on.”
Wright and the Commissioners also noted that, to a certain degree, protecting property and livestock from coyote attacks is a responsibility that falls on the property owner.
“The coyote situation always gets worse this time of year, because the packs are feeding their young,” Bonn said. “It will taper off some after the young are on their own.
The Commissioners urge rural property owners to take steps to protect themselves and their animals and to contact the Commissioners Court if coyotes are causing a significant problem in your area.
In other Court business:
The Commissioners will enter a discussion with local funeral homes regarding payment for services rendered.
At present, when a county Justice of the Peace declares a death and calls a funeral home to remove a body, the county is billed for the removal. However, in some cases, the funeral home is contracted by the decedent”s family to perform funeral and burial services. In those cases, the Commissioners expressed a desire to have the funeral homes reimburse the county.
Wright asked Bonn to meet with local funeral homes to discuss the issue and determine what will be the best option, not only for the County, but for the funeral homes and for mourning families.
Also, the commissioners and Unit Road Supervisor Bill Alexander discussed the growing problem of illegal dumping in the county.
Alexander reported that the need for litter cleanup has been growing so rapidly that he needs to assign a crew specifically for trash pickup. However, the Unit Road System”s staffing levels do not allow for such a dedicated crew.
Sanitation officer Jeff Wright indicated that he is investigating a number of illegal dumping complaints throughout the county and hopes to be able to issue more citations in the near future.
In brief County news:
The Commissioners opted to leave the outdoor burning ban in place. The Court indicated that the ban would likely not be lifted unless the County receives at least three or four inches of rain.
The panel approved the county”s treasury report for month of January 2006.
They approved a variance for the sale of one acre of property on County Road 206.
The County paid bills in the amount of $117,930.22, which includes a payment of more than $60,000 for out-of-county inmate housing and $6,000 for for indigent legal defense.
The Caldwell County Commissioners meet on the second, third and fourth Monday of each month at 9 a.m. in Room 100 of the Caldwell County Courthouse.


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