Shelter transition board close to final goal

Published 8:05 pm Thursday, August 31, 2017

Weeks of deliberation could soon bear fruit in September.
Representatives of the Elizabethton/Carter County Animal Shelter Transition Board met Thursday inside the Carter County Courthouse and agreed to put the final wordage into documents about the operation of the facility and bylaws for a new oversight board.
County Attorney Josh Hardin presented members with a new operating agreement and bylaws Thursday. Following discussions and unanimously approval from the board on different items, Hardin stated necessary changes would be looked at and that the county would be in contact with city representation to have the documents ready for both government bodies.
If approved by both City Council and County Commission, the new documents would be on the books – effectively ceasing the existence of the transition board and Animal Advisory Board – bringing about a new board for the shelter, which would handle all oversight.
Once the contract is approved by both governments, the new board will consist of three City Councilmen; Kim Birchfield, Sam Shipley and Wes Frazier, three County Commissioners; Buford Peters, Kelly Collins and Sonja Culler, and county resident Mike Barnett.
Changes were made to the original document during Thursday’s meeting. The wording was added that the newly-formed board would solely handle all operations at the shelter, including building and grounds, maintenance and security.
Another came in the form of funding for the shelter. With both governments currently working without a valid operational agreement, the new one states that the county would fund 75 percent of shelter operation while the city funds 25 percent, pending the budget per each year. Currently, the City has $100,000 put toward the building with the County pays over $200,000. Costs between both governments would be equally split for the funding of major renovations or equipment – structural damage, HVAC – and insurance.
Addressing the funding was the important part of Thursday’s meeting, Hardin explained, with currently no funding in place following the 2017-18 fiscal year due to no agreement between the governments.
Peters, who also serves as the liaison for the shelter to the county, added the Shelter Director Shannon Posada had taken steps to address different line items and that both city and county would have a better understanding of what is required to “run the shelter” by the time the next budget cycles comes around.
Representatives added the goal is to keep transparency within the group. Once the new board is in place, the goal moving forward would be to rotate board meetings between City Hall and the county courthouse and look at including various nonprofits from the community wanting to assist with the shelter.
Following the talks about documents, Peters brought up a matter with the board about a possible film crew coming to the animal shelter.
Peters told members that he was approached by Mayor Leon Humphrey, stating that a film crew was scheduled to be at the shelter Tuesday, Sept. 5, to shoot the shelter’s “catios” and reportedly the van.
A concern was brought up due to the time of the filming and the mayor, no longer in an oversight role, stating this would be happening. Peters brought it before the board due to the short notice of the endeavor and added the mayor indicated the filming was being done by the encouragement of family members of the late Glenda Taylor DeLawder – who donated a sizeable portion of money to the shelter for improvements.
Board members indicated they would be in contact with the family to verify the validity of the film crew and, that if it was true, if that they could push the time later in the day to allow the shelter staff to have the facility cleaned, instead of having to come in the early morning hours. Talks were also in abundance about animal control and looking the issue of feral cats in the region.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox