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Raccoon concerns raised at monthly Elizabethtown board meeting

ELIZABETHTOWN-Safety concerns stemming from possibly rabid raccoons living in an abandoned trailer onWater Street were raised at the June 21 Elizabethtown Town Board meeting.

Gay Olcott, who runs a daycare about 150 feet from the trailer, said she was concerned for the well being of her client's children and herself.

"This is an accident waiting to happen," Gay said, adding she had observed a fight between raccoons and a neighborhood cat.

Bernard Duso, of Elizabethtown animal control, could kill the raccoons only as a private contractor, Town Supervisor Noel Merrihew said.

"Legally the town is not responsible or involved with the eradication of raccoons or skunks - any other animal besides dogs," Merrihew said.

The supervisor said he would steer people first to the departments of environmental conservation and public health.

"Does that mean the town is going to notify the public health?" Rick Olcott, Gay's husband, asked.

"Only if you request it," Merrihew said.

"Can I request that you notify public health?" Rick said.

"We are here to help, yes," Merrihew said.

"Is that a yes?" Rick said.

"What would you like me to say?" Merrihew said.

"I'd like you to say 'yes,'"Rick said.

Merrihew said he would have public health call the Olcotts.

Gay said she did not want Duso to shoot the raccoons.

"It's too close to my daycare and it's in the village limits," she said. "There should be some way they can be trapped humanely and disposed of."

The abandoned property where the raccoons live is unsightly, according to Gay.

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