SHERIDAN — The Sheridan County Board of County Commissioners discussed maintenance at the Kleenburn Recreation Area during its staff meeting Monday after an incident at the site led to confusion.
The issue came after the carcass of a large dog was found in the area.
County Administrative Director Renee Obermueller said the dog had either been shot on site or dumped after being shot.
Obermueller said the dog was found in an area where there is a lot of public viewing and access. When the incident occurred, she said county officials discovered there is no protocol for that type of situation.
Unlike Kleenburn, other parks, like Story Park and Three Poles, have established procedure for situations such as this, Obermueller said. She said Sheridan County Road and Bridge does other maintenance jobs at the recreation area, like mowing, but is not responsible for this type of work.
“So I think everybody’s confused about whose responsibility it would be, because we own the park, cleaning up…anything along that lines,” Obermueller said.
Commissioner Mike Nickel said though the situation isn’t common, since there was no protocol in place it delayed cleanup by a couple of days.
Nickel said he didn’t think it was the responsibility of the Sheridan County Sheriff’s Office and agreed with a comment made that Road and Bridge employees may have appropriate clothing to handle these situations.
“It doesn’t happen all the time, but we need something,” Nickel said, adding it would take about an hour out of a worker’s day.
While Road and Bridge does other maintenance, county engineer Ken Muller said he wasn’t sure about the department taking on task like that.
He said if something needs to be done, though it would be a small task, it would require the department to shut down several pieces of equipment, which wouldn’t be worth the time.
“It’s just another thing to spread real thin guys who are already spread thin,” Muller said.
Other options discussed included hiring a veterinarian technician and adding the task to an established contract with a specific maintenance worker, which is an option they are exploring.
“Who does it doesn’t really matter to me, as long as there is a protocol that we have something in effect when we can take care of it because it does become a health and safety issue,” Nickel said.
Obermueller said it’s especially important to sort out with hunting season so close. She said they need to know who will clean the area, whether it be a similar situation, a deer, cow or other animal.