KEYSER - Concerned with the safety of his own family and the nearby elderly residents, Jim Montgomery of Antioch addressed the Mineral County Commission on Tuesday to get clarity on what is on the books in terms of a vicious dog policy.

By Jean Braithwaite
Tribune Correspondent
KEYSER - Concerned with the safety of his own family and the nearby elderly residents, Jim Montgomery of Antioch addressed the Mineral County Commission on Tuesday to get clarity on what is on the books in terms of a vicious dog policy.
He said that he has in the past been faced with several attacks from two dogs belonging to residents of the neighborhood, and, “I reported the incidents.”
Melissa Kidwell, county animal control officer, was contacted, and Montgomery said that the information he received was, “Nothing could be done unless the dogs bite somebody.”
What he said could prevent the owners of the two dogs from being sued is having the animals housed outside in a “six-feet high enclosed kennel.”
Montogomery said that often, “The dogs are outside unsupervised,” and with that in mind, he said the opportunity may arise to “jeopardize public safety.”
Commissioner Richard Lechliter said a leash law exists in Mineral County, with other policies on dogs being centered on state-level rules.
Montogmery responded to that statement by saying that in dealing with the two neighborhood dogs, “Then we are dictated by state law.”
Lechliter said that Kidwell has been to Antioch to talk with the dog owners, and, “she has done all she can do” in this situation.
Jerry Whisner, commission president, said that he would try to find an answer to the problem with the dogs near the Montogomery home, and will “talk to the owners” of the two animals.
In another business item, based on the lack of available parking spaces for courthouse employees, Drew Brubaker, county coordinator, said that he could have “a proposed solution.”
He had been in contact with Keyser attorney John Athey with the possibility of renting spaces in the lot owned by Athey and located next to his law office.
Brubaker reported that Athey said “as many spaces as needed” are available, with no future raise happening once a set price is negotiated.
Commissioner Roger Leatherman suggested that the two storage buildings used for the county clerk’s office could be moved closer to the courthouse “to open parking in that area.”
Another suggestion was to utilize the grassy area near the sheriff’s office, making about seven to eight more parking spaces.
Whisner said that before a definite decision is made on the selection of where additional parking spaces are finalized, “We will look at these avenues at a future meeting.