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By Stephen Lega

MASH unit coming to Marion County

The Mobile Animal Surgical Hospital will be in Marion County Feb. 5.

The Marion County Animal Shelter and Just Paws Inc. will be hosting the MASH unit that day at the animal shelter. The MASH unit is based in Lexington and provides low-cost spaying and neutering and other general small animal veterinary services.

Dogs of any size can be spayed for $60. Dog neutering is $50. Other services include cat spaying ($35), cat neutering ($35) and rabies vaccinations for $5. For a complete list of services that will be offered, pet owners should call the shelter at (270) 692-0464.

Pet owners will need to pre-register and to prepay for services performed by the MASH unit.

The animal shelter staff and Just Paws are both encouraging all pet owners to have their pets spayed or neutered. This will reduce the number of unwanted animals in the county.

County considering animal composting site

Marion County officials are looking into the possibility of creating a large animal composting site in the county.

When Nation Brothers closed its rendering plant in 2009, the county started providing its own dead animal removal service. Since then, the county has picked up dead animals from local farms and transported them to the landfill in Nelson County.

Marion County Judge/Executive John G. Mattingly said the county is now considering constructing its own composting site. Mattingly said property near the county barn and the Marion County Animal Shelter could be used.

Road Superintendent Tommy Lee said the composting process does not create an odor from what he understands.

Mattingly estimated that the county could save $12,000 to $18,000 annually if it constructed its own composting site.

"It seems like it's not an environmental issue," Mattingly said. "The process is relatively smell-free and it doesn't attract other animals."

Mattingly said he has spoken with Washington County officials about their composting site. Marion County officials may visit the Washington County composting site to better understand how it works and what would be needed to construct a similar site.

Judicial center opening has been postponed

The original plans for the Marion County Judicial Center included moving into the building in January, but that opening has been postponed until March.

According to Marion County Judge/Executive John G. Mattingly, some decisions made by the Administrative Office of the Courts resulted in a delay in ordering security equipment for the judicial center.

The building will not be ready to be occupied until March.

The new schedule calls for the final inspection and repairs beginning Feb. 7.

Furniture delivery has been scheduled for March 7. The circuit clerk's office is scheduled to be closed March 14-18 so that equipment can be moved to the judicial center from the courthouse.

The first day of court in the judicial center is tentatively scheduled for March 21.

City approves financial incentives for dye company

The Lebanon City Council has approved its portion of a financial incentive package for Pacific Dye.

Marion County Economic Development Director Tom Lund told the council that he has been working with a California company that has committed to moving to Lebanon. He said the company expects to employ 60 people in the Lebanon area within three years.

The city and the Marion County Fiscal Court have offered a $100,000 incentive package to the company. The incentive will be divided evenly between the city and the county.

Lund said Monday the company was requesting half of the incentive now and half during the next fiscal year.

The company has already hired a plant manager and few other key people, according to Lund. He added that company officials anticipate the hiring 40 people during its first year in operation and another 20 employees by its third year.

City approves amendment to property maintenance ordinance

The Lebanon City Council unanimously approved an amendment to the city's property maintenance ordinance.

The amendment changes the definition of excessive weeds and grass from 12 inches to eight inches. This is also what the city law considered excessive before the property maintenance ordinance was approved. The change will become official upon its publication.