A variety of issues were discussed at the Fredonia Town Council meeting on January 27, with everything from Use Tax to dog licensing.

Recent public concerns persuaded council members to consult the town attorney about Use Tax issues.  The main issue being what recourse a resident has if they feel they have been unjustifiably taxed.  Tom Corrigan reported according to the town attorney, residents are able to approach the Taxation Appeals Board with their complaints.  The town, however, would not be allowed to contact the Appeals Board on behalf of nor against the resident.

Corrigan approached the council with his proposal to reduce unclaimed stray dogs in Fredonia.  Currently, 80% of the dogs at the Fredonia Humane Society Dog Shelter are unclaimed strays.  Besides the added strain on the shelter’s resources to care for the dogs, it places undue stress on the dog and the dog owner. 

Corrigan proposed the Humane Society sponsor free micro chipping for dog owners.  The chip is programmed with all of the dog’s pertinent information such as shots and owner’s contact information.  Corrigan requested future registration fees for spayed or neutered dogs be waived if they had a microchip.  All rabies requirements would still be effective, but dog owners would save the annual $5.00 licensing fee.  The microchip could also give owners the piece of mind that if their pet was lost, a simple scan could help them be found.

The council agreed the free micro chipping was a good idea.  “Anything we can do to solve our dog problem I’m willing to do,” said Mayor Dixie Judd.  They voted unanimously to allow Corrigan to move forward with the plan.

Also discussed was the rising cost of town employee health benefits.  Under the current health insurance plan, the Council could expect a 30% increase in premiums.  The council determined a plan with higher co-pays, higher out of pocket maximums and slightly lower coverage would help keep premiums down.  The decision will allow employees to continue 100% of premiums paid by their employer.

The Council suggested the need to revisit the issue with the possibility of employees paying a percentage of costs.