The Fortuna City Council tonight unanimously approved the purchase of a new animal control vehicle.
The vehicle, a 2018 pickup truck specially outfitted for animal control, will cost $67,725, with the U.S. Department of Agriculture picking up more than half the tab through a grant.
“It’s a good deal,” Councilman Dean Glaser said.
The grant from the Department of Agriculture is for $36,400 — the maximum that could be awarded — and the remaining $31,325 comes from the city’s asset forfeiture account.
“$95,000 (is) currently in our asset forfeiture account,” Fortuna Police Chief Bill Dobberstein said. “We’d have roughly $25,00 after this project and our police project.”
Glaser noted that the USDA helped fund two other police vehicles.
The new vehicle would replace the “aging and unreliable” current animal control vehicle, which Dobberstein said would be declared surplus property. When the surplus property is sold, the money would go in the city’s general fund.
Earlier in the meeting, the city unanimously approved more than $2,000 that was spent on weed abatement and a property tax lien on two properties.
The council also approved zoning changes for emergency shelters.
During the public comment period, Fortuna small business owner Gail Leavitt asked that the council look at amending the city’s cannabis ordinance. She said that amending the ordinance to allow some cannabis businesses would bring more shoppers to town and help other local small businesses.
“The state of Colorado has seen a decrease in crime since legal marijuana passed,” Leavitt noted. ” … It would create more revenue. … It will help our small businesses.”
She said in the past year and a half her business has suffered a loss in revenue.
“My business has gone down 40 percent in the past 1 ½ years,” she said. “Consider amending that ordinance. I’d like to know what your plan is for drawing people into this town so we can keep our small businesses.”