Campground owners take animal shelter noise concerns to County C - FOX Carolina 21

Campground owners take animal shelter noise concerns to County Commission

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CARTER COUNTY, TN (WJHL) - Carter County Commissioners heard from a campground owner's uncle, who says the county's new animal shelter is killing his family's business.

Monday night, Philip Wright told commissioners that his family's business, Serenity's Edge Campground, stands to lose significant business because of the sound of barking dogs coming from the shelter next door. The Wrights have spoken at the last four Elizabethton/Carter County Animal Shelter Advisory Board meetings, leading up to Monday's full County Commission meeting.

"The city/county knowingly put in an animal shelter right on top of the campground, which basically is the equivalent of putting a methadone clinic beside a daycare center. Parents are going to come and remove their children from the daycare center. You've got a shelter, you've got campers that are trying to enjoy the outdoor experience," Wright told the County Commission. "That's pretty hard to do now. We have campers that are wanting to leave because of the noise, the barking noise."

Elizabethton and Carter County opened the shelter on Sycamore Shoals Drive in December after a lengthy effort to improve accommodations for abandoned animals.

In early May, News Channel 11 reported about the concerns of the owner of Serenity's Edge Campground about the nearby shelter. The Wright family told us they feared campers searching for "serenity" on the banks of the Watauga River would be forced to set up camp elsewhere.

"I don't care what you put up there and I don't know what you want to do, but you're not gonna stop a dog from barking," County Commissioner Willie Campbell, 1st District said.

"I'm not looking for a solution, I don't think we can have one from this, but one or two things could be done to greatly, dramatically reduce that level of noise," Wright said.

Monday night, county commissioners pledged to individually visit the campground to hear and see for themselves what impact, if any, the shelter is having on the campground.

"We created the problem. I think it's our obligation to eliminate all that we can," County Commissioner Ken Arney, 6th District said. "We need to do something to help this small business - and it's not just this small business, it will be another one next week and another one next month."

"I'm sure if we looked into it, if we investigated, we could find SOMETHING that would help. Some kind of sound barrier. I'm sure it's going to cost some money but, it needs to be investigated," County Commissioner Buford Peters, 1st District said.

News Channel 11's Kylie McGivern has the full report.

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