Animal shelter task force settles on funding proposal

Published 9:57 am Wednesday, March 23, 2022

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A formula for shared funding and the move toward county ownership are two of the recommendations of a joint animal shelter task force.
The group, which includes city manager Daniel Estes, councilman Jeff Treadway and county commissioners Gary Bailey and Travis Hill, settled Tuesday on three recommendations to take to the governing agencies:
  • A 68% county and 32% city funding equation with a new one or two-year contract.
  • Meeting with each respective legal attorney to discuss the possibility of the county taking full ownership of the shelter, including recommendations on the cost to the county to buy out the city’s investment.
  • Determining the ratio for representation on the animal shelter board to include city, county ad Friends of the Shelter members.
Early in the meeting, Estes’ suggestion the county “buy us out and take it over” was met with pushback from county representatives. “It’s an option that I don’t care to take back,” said Bailey. “It will come down to the commission, but I don’t care to take it back. I only have one vote in this.”
Hill voiced concerns over the city and county committing to working together to determine the best course for long-term operations. “We need to work on a partnership,” said Hill. “I feel that a 68% county – 32% city funding ratio split … for a full year or maybe two in a new contract would give time to look at the data from that time frame.”
Representation on the board continues to be a sticking point, with county representatives pushing for membership to reflect the funding ratios.
Bailey suggested four members appointed by the county, two by the city, and one from the Friends of the Shelter. Estes suggested three members of the Friends and two each from the city and county.
“With the Friends of the Shelter having a large interest raising quite a bit of money for projects that are currently being done at the shelter, I believe it helps us because they know more of what the needs are,” said Estes.
The group set March 31 at 6 p.m. as a tentative follow-up meeting to review feedback from city and county boards.

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