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Humane Society proposes two more contracts

Monday, December 12, 2005

The Clay County Humane Society submitted two more potential contracts for a 2006 animal control plan to city officials Thursday, moving the CCHS one step closer to continuing its 12-year relationship with the City of Brazil.

The Common Council of the City of Brazil approved the expenditure of $25,000 for the humane society's services at its Nov. 23 meeting. Council members requested a contract that would mirror the CCHS's 2006 agreement with Clay County, restoring key services that had been ommitted from the humane society's most recent proposals. The CCHS submitted a one-year, $25,000 contract as well as a three-year agreement stipulating an annual one-percent increase to a $25,000 base sum.

CCHS Director Rick Moore said he expected the council to make a final decision at its Dec. 13 session, and that he is "70 percent" sure one of the contracts will be accepted.

"We've given them everything they asked for," he said, referring to the pick-up service the humane society had provided under past agreements but had removed from its most recent proposals.

Council approval of the humane society's most recent proposal would mark the end of a contentious, months-long struggle between the city and the CCHS over an animal control agreement for 2006. Negotiations had steadily deteriorated since the CCHS tendered its first 2006 proposal in July. City officials took issue with the humane society's request for an increased annual allotment and the simultaneous elimination of an animal pick-up service. The CCHS cited rising costs and argued that a majority of the animals it accepted at its shelter came from Brazil.

The Times reported Oct. 31 that Mayor Tom Arthur and the council had decided to cease talks with the humane society, instead submitting a proposal for a city- administrated plan. The issue has divided city officials since the negotiations resumed. Council members only narrowly approved the $25,000 allotment at its most recent session, voting 3-2 in favor of the measure.

Arthur declined to comment at length for this article, but said he would favor a one-year contract, in the interest of keeping the city's agreement with the humane society in line with county's contract.

Moore said he doesn't hold a grudge against the city, and thanked the police department and members of the council for their past support. Ultimately, he said, he has the best interest of Brazil's animal population at heart.

"I'm not involved in the politics," he said. "I'm not a politician. I'm here for the animals."

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