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The town of Kingsbury passed updates to its local dog law last month, which include increased fees and fines and a shortened holding time for lost or stray dogs.

Todd Humiston, dog control officer, is also working with the towns of Fort Ann and Fort Edward on similar updates, with Fort Ann slated to hold a public hearing on Monday.

Once the state approves Kingsbury’s local law, the changes will go into effect.

The cost of licensing a dog has increased from $20.50 to $25 for an animal that is not spayed or neutered. For those that are, the fee has increased from $13.50 to $15. Humiston said those fees had not been changed since 2008.

The fees go toward supporting the animal shelter and other parts of the program.

Criminal fines also increased. Humiston had said at past board meetings that the low fines did not discourage repeat offenders, and if a dog matter ended up in town court, the fine would sometimes be less than the expense of litigation.

The holding time for picking up an unidentified dog shortened from five days to three, Humiston added. Generally, dogs are picked up within the first three days if they are not strays. A shorter holding time helps those that are strays, however, by getting “them out to adoption a little faster,” Humiston said.

The town also added in a clause about emergencies. Humiston said if there’s an accident, fire or an owner is in the hospital, for example, he’s now allowed to keep the dog for additional time, though there is still a holding fee.

“If people contact us and communicate, it’s not like, ‘Oh, three days and you’re done,’” Humiston said. “We’ll give them a little more time, if that’s what they’re requesting.”

The town of Fort Ann is pursuing a similar refresh of its local law, but Humiston said the board has decided in this draft not to increase the licensing fees, nor to decrease the days a dog can be held from five to three.

The town is looking to increase some of it fines and pickup fees. A public hearing on the proposed changes is scheduled for 6:05 p.m. Monday at the Fort Ann firehouse on Route 149.

Earth Waste & Metal permit

The Kingsbury Town Board approved junkyard and scrap processor licenses for Earth Waste & Metal to operate at 1612 state Route 196.

The site is the former Washington County transfer station and, according to the town’s resolution, “has been historically used as a waste management facility.”

Earth Waste & Metal requested and received two variances from the town including the reduction of a $5 million pollution liability insurance requirement to $2 million and a waiver from a financial security requirement.

The pollution waiver was approved, according to the resolution, because the company “will not be accepting hazardous materials, nor vehicles that would contain petroleum products or other materials for which this requirement was originally intended.” The resolution also states the additional $3 million will be a detriment to the company’s finances.

The financial waiver was also accepted.

“The applicant has submitted financial estimates of closure and proof of financial surety,” according to the resolution. “The facility is primarily a solid waste management facility regulated by NYS Department of Environmental Conservation. As such, they are required to maintain a bond to ensure the proper closure and post-closure procedures occur and are followed.”

The license will expire on March 31, 2020.

Fort Edward school traffic pattern

Fort Edward school and village officials are hoping to have a safer traffic pattern in place by September for the high school’s drop-off and pickup.

The route on Burgoyne Avenue has been a dangerous spot for drivers and pedestrians alike. As the road is under the purview of the village, only the village can direct a change.

The village Police Department was meeting with school staff this week to discuss a plan.

Village Attorney Matthew Fuller said at the Village Board meeting Monday night that planning for September would give parents and students a clean break for the new school year.

“We’ll see what happens,” said Mayor Matthew Traver.

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Reporter Gwendolyn Craig can be reached at (518) 742-3238 or gcraig@poststar.com. Follow her on Twitter @gwendolynnn1.

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