News From Terre Haute, Indiana


October 9, 2013

Bird storage fee ruffles Council’s feathers

Humane shelter bills county $20K for holding roosters

TERRE HAUTE — Several members of the Vigo County Council seem to consider a nearly $20,000 bill the county faces for the “incarceration” of roosters simply a cock-a-maiming idea.

Vigo County Commissioner Brad Anderson, speaking at Tuesday’s County Council meeting, said the county was charged for “incarcerating 40 roosters that were held as evidence from roosters fighting.”

Sheriff Greg Ewing said the birds, under a court order, were held as evidence from a March investigation of a cock-fighting operation that spanned Vigo and Sullivan counties. A Farmersburg man and a Sullivan man were arrested on criminal charges of possessing animals for fighting-contest purposes.

Ewing said the sheriff’s department took the animals to the Terre Haute Humane Shelter, but the birds remained at the shelter for more than 40 days until they were no longer needed as evidence. The birds were then released to various farms.

The original bill was $17,900, to which was added a 10-percent penalty for being late in payment, Anderson said.

Commissioner Mike Ciolli told the council the late fee does not apply as the county’s contract with the humane shelter states payment must be approved by the council. “The money has to first be obligated,” Ciolli said.

And then came humor over a case of ruffled feathers.

“We’re paying for the incarceration of chickens?” asked Council President Bill Thomas.

“Roosters,” Anderson said, who said the birds had to be kept separated and had to be allowed to roam daily, making holding the birds a labor-intensive job.

Councilman Tim Curley said it would have been cheaper for the birds to have been shipped to Knox County, where Vigo County inmates were moved in August to relieve overcrowding at Vigo’s jail at a cost of  $35 a day per inmate.

Councilman Mark Bird said the county should have simply “given the birds to Kentucky Fried Chicken.” He later stated that with issues such as the roosters, “no wonder Chick-fil-A opened here.”

President Thomas, turning the conversation serious again, told the council he wanted the payment tabled until a representative of the Terre Haute Humane Shelter could come before the council “and bring a more realistic charge. I feel we are being overcharged.”

The issue will go back before the council in November.

In other matters, the council approved $85,000 for a solid waste district. The county has established a nonreverting fund for “host fees” from the disposal of solid waste in the county at the Sycamore Ridge Landfill. That fee has generated $103,607 so far this year. In addition, the county will receive tipping fees that will continue to be deposited into the county’s general fund, Ciolli said.

The county expects to generate about $144,000 a year, Anderson said, with a budget of more than $130,000 for the district in 2014. “It should fund itself without a problem,” Anderson told the council.

Vigo County withdrew from the Clay-Owen-Vigo Solid Waste District in May to form its own single district. Ciolli said the district board wanted to raise tippings fees. Vigo commissioners did not want to raise the fee because Vigo County would have lost the 31 cents per ton it receives as host county.

Vigo County will continue to receive 25 cents per ton in tipping fees. “Now the county gets 56 cents instead of 31 cents that stays in Vigo County, and hopefully some day we will get one of these or both of these fees up and that stays in Vigo County,” Ciolli said after the meeting.

The county has about six months left to form its own district and implement a solid waste plan for it.

One event already planned is a “Tox-Away Day” on Oct. 19 at the Vigo County Fairgrounds. That event will cost the county about $10,000 to disposal of collected materials, such as varnishes, oil-based paint, refrigerators, air conditioners, freezers, insecticides and numerous other items that will be collected.

Reporter Howard Greninger can be reached at 812-231-4204 or


Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest News Poll
AP Video
Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts Raw: MH17 Passenger Remains in Kharkiv, Ukraine Raw: Israel Hits Gaza Targets, Destroys Mosques Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Diplomatic Push Intensifies to End War in Gaza Raw: Lawmakers Scuffle in Ukraine's Parliament Raw: Israel Bombs Multiple Targets in Gaza Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks From Space Station US Official: Most Migrant Children to Be Removed Raw: Massive Explosion in Gaza City Foxx Cites Washington 'Circus Mirror'
NDN Video
Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl Swim Daily, Nina Agdal in the Cook Islands Guilty Dog Apologizes to Baby for Stealing Her Toy Prince George Turns 1 and is Already a Trendsetter Train Collides With Semi Truck Carrying Lighter Fluid Kanye West Tells-All on Wedding in "GQ" Interview Tony Dungy Weighs in on Michael Sam Scarlett Johansson Set To Marry In August New Star Wars Episode XII X-Wing Revealed Obama: Putin must push separatists to aid MH17 probe Michigan inmates no longer allowed to wear orange due to 'OITNB' Adam Levine Ties the Knot Sebastian The Ibis Walks Beautiful Bride Down The Aisle | ACC Must See Moment NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong Faces of Souls Lost in Malaysian Plane Crash 105-year-old woman throws first pitch Man Creates Spreadsheet of Wife's Reasons for Turning Down Sex 'Weird Al' Is Wowed by Album's Success

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -


    March 12, 2010

Real Estate News