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Section A: General News


Eagle Ford: Possible compromise for snakes ban?


Eagle Ford: Possible compromise for snakes ban?
Wilson County Treasurer Jan Hartl (left) presents a plaque Feb. 25 to former treasurer’s office employee Cindy Pruski, in recognition of her years of service.


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Wilson County News
February 27, 2013
3,445 views
5 comments

Jason Royer of Royer’s Reptiles has proposed a compromise in the wake of the Wilson County Commissioners Court’s recent decision to restrict certain non-indigenous snakes being kept as pets in unincorporated regions of the county. Royer’s recommended amendment to the commissioners court’s Nov. 28, 2012, ordinance was one of the topics discussed during the commissioners’ Feb. 25 meeting.

Among Royer’s recommendations is that controlled exotic snakes be allowed if the snake is housed in a sturdy and secure enclosure that is designed to be escape-proof, bite-proof, and have an operable lock. The enclosures should be labeled with the scientific name, common name, and the number of specimens housed in the enclosure. Venomous snakes would be clearly labeled as such and similar rules would apply to containers used to transport snakes.

Furthermore, Royer’s recommendations call for owners of exotic snakes to post an escape recovery plan within plain sight of where the snakes are kept and for law-enforcement personnel to be notified immediately in the event of an escape.

Lastly, a clearly labeled inventory of controlled exotic snakes would be posted within plain sight immediately inside the main entryway of the facility where the snakes are housed, according to the recommended amendment.

Veterinarian George Hill, who perhaps was the driving force behind the county’s ordinance, suggested also that poisonous and dangerous reptiles and amphibians also be included in the county’s rules. He also suggested a grandfather clause for existing operations such as Royer’s, as Hill does not want to see existing businesses adversely affected by any new ordinances.

The commissioners took no action on Royer’s recommendations. They did, however, approve a proposal from ThornGraves Architects for services related to renovation of the Wilson County Courthouse. For the first part of the project, which includes steps such as the development of preliminary floor plans, interior redesign, and selection of interior finishes, the firm will charge the county 10 percent -- $50,000 -- of the anticipated cost of $500,000.

The second phase is the actual repair of the exterior and the foundation, and for construction observation, the firm will charge 6 percent -- $90,000 -- of the anticipated cost of $1.5 million.

The commissioners also reviewed three proposals for asbestos surveys to be performed on the courthouse and the proposed criminal justice complex and library planned for the current Wilson County Courthouse Annex III. Prices on the three quotes ranged from $1,030 to $1,140.

In attendance, County Judge Marvin Quinney and commissioners Albert Gamez Jr., Paul Pfeil, Ricky Morales, and Larry Wiley; Wilson County Sheriff Joe D. Tackitt Jr., interim County Auditor Verna Gorzell, County Clerk Eva Martinez, County Treasurer Jan Hartl, Pct. 2 Justice of the Peace Sara Canady, Coordinator Edwin Baker of the Wilson County Health and Public Safety Office, Assistant County Auditor Kristin Labus, County Attorney Daynah Fallwell, Assistant County Attorney Carly Kitchens, and Emergency Management Coordinator LeAnn Hosek.
 

Your Opinions and Comments

 
PRAIRIE GROUCH  
GRAND PRAIRIE TX  
March 1, 2013 9:41am
 
I just heard that a sink hole swallowed a grown man in Florida. This is a clear present and future danger to residents of Wilson county. I hope that the county commissioners take notice and ban all sink holes in the county.

 
PRAIRIE GROUCH  
GRAND PRAIRIE TX  
March 1, 2013 5:30am
 
It is my sincere opinion that one's life would be greatly enhanced if the only laws existing upon their death are those that existed at their birth. The most dangerous threat to one's pursuit of happiness are the following ... More ›

 
The Marcelina Muse  
Dry Tank, TX  
February 28, 2013 11:31am
 
Why snakes have rights too. Maybe even entitlements, even if they are here illegally. Therefore if the risk of escape is miniscule, the premium on the $100,000.00 insurance policy to cover the cost of recovery in case of escape, ... More ›

 
Kassandra Royer  
La Vernia, TX  
February 27, 2013 10:54pm
 
Dr. Hill mistakenly believed that dart frogs are poisonous. Wild dart frogs secrete toxins which they incorporate from the wild insects they eat, whom obtain the substances from plants native to their homelands. This is simply ... More ›

 
MyOpinion  
Floresville  
February 27, 2013 11:24am
 
Royers recommendations are just not enough. People do stupid things. When they can no longer or do not want to take care of their snakes or other exotic 'pets', they just turn them loose.

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