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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Council makes contract offer to Humane Society

Friday, December 5, 2008

What began as a gift has become a heated negotiation.

During Thursday's special meeting, the Common Council of the City of Brazil approved to offer a one-year animal control contract to the Clay County Humane Society for $12,500.

"The money the city gave to the Humane Society started out as a gift and in recent years it has been part of a contract," Council President Bill Lovett said.

The current contract, which was for three years, expires at the end of the month and the Humane Society presented their own proposal Thursday.

"We are asking for the same amount we did in 2006," Humane Society Board Treasurer Ed Gallatin said about the $25,000 proposal. "The annual rate increases have been removed, but things are getting tough because our costs are up approximately $23,000 in 2006 dollars."

Budget concerns was one of the reasons the council was hesitant to agree to the proposed amount. According to city officials, if the recently passed budget holds up, there would be only $89 left in city funds.

"We passed our budget allowing $12,500, which seems unacceptable to the Humane Society, but I don't know where we can find the money," Council Member Sam Glover said.

Mayor Ann Bradshaw elaborated on how tight the city is financially.

"We had to make major cuts in just about every fund," she said. "We can't even give raises to our employees, and that's the sad part about it."

However, the Humane Society remained steadfast in saying the council's offer was not sufficient.

"There's not a lot we could do for $12,500," Humane Society Board President Bill Bell told the council.

Humane Shelter manager Rick Moore informed the council other options may have to looked into to compensate for the potential reduction.

"We can only employ what we have the funding for," Moore said. "It may come to the point where we either have to start charging city residents to drop off their animals or cut the services we provide to the city."

Bradshaw quickly addressed Moore's comments.

"We had to cut the police and fire contracts as well, but that doesn't mean they're going to reduce the number of calls they respond to," she said.

The council also addressed the potential of property tax dollars from city residents are being "double-dipped" by the Humane Society.

"As a resident of the city, I pay both city and county taxes," Glover said. "Since the county has a contract with the Humane Society as well, and Brazil is part of the county, I am concerned with the tax dollars of city residents being used to pay for two contracts at the same time."

Moore responded by explaining that the majority of calls the Humane Society receives come from Brazil.

"Approximately 70 percent of the calls we respond to are from within the city," he said. "On top of that, the economy is bad and the first thing people are giving up are their pets."

Moore added that it costs the shelter roughly $4.25 per day to take care of one animal.

"Also, we absorb the costs of sending animals to rescue shelters, which includes the required spay/neuter and shots," he said.

Although Gallatin said agreeing to a three-year contract would be "in the city's best interest," the Humane Society left the option of a one-year contract open to the council's discretion, which they utilized.

"I suggest we offer the one-year, $12,500 contract, and if they choose not to accept, we'll have to renegotiate next year," Council Member Steve Lamb said.

The council unanimously accepted the offer and the Humane Society will now review it with its board members.

"All I can do at this time is talk it over with the board of directors," Bell said.

A date for further negotiations has not been set at this time.


Comments
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I would like for the times to publish a copy of last years humane society budget so we can see how the money is spent. and where it comes from.

-- Posted by george1 on Sat, Dec 6, 2008, at 7:42 AM

Is it possible for city/county residents to foster some animals until they can be adopted. The foster parents would provide the costs associated with the animal as donation. It seems that there must be some animal lovers that would be willing to provide a good temporary home for pets in need. Also, is there a volunteer program? What about community service to be done at the shelter? Any area vets that would be willing to do spay/neuter services for free to prevent future unwanted pets?

-- Posted by softcloth on Sat, Dec 6, 2008, at 9:10 AM

George1 ~

I agree I would also like to see the humane society budget ~

I know in the past CCHS had used 50 LB bags ~ I would be curious to know if they have investigated the use of bulk feed ~ sure, there would be the initial expense of bins for the feed, but in the long run this expense would pay for itself ~ even discussing other types of feed for the animals with comparable nutritional value would surely be of use ~

And, I have to say that CCHS should consider "a bird in hand" ~ are they willing to give up the City's offer & really have to do fancy footwork to get their expenses paid?

-- Posted by karebabe on Sat, Dec 6, 2008, at 10:21 AM

I could never understand why the Humane Shelter has never really been properly funded. This organization seems to depend on volunteers to do a lot of the work and the full time employee(s) have to be on call at all hours of the day and night every day of the year as there are not enough employees to spread out the work. For the most part, nobody wants to pay for the service but everyone wants to gripe when a vicious dog is loose in their neighborhood and there is nobody around to take care of it. Our politicians need to eventually realize that the citizens expect more services and sooner or later taxes will have to be adjusted so those expectations can be met. The same under funding goes on in law enforcement, nobody wants to pay for the service but what price are they worth when there is an emergency.

-- Posted by Unsolicited opinion on Sat, Dec 6, 2008, at 5:20 PM

Has anyone in "city Administration" considered the "open Door" law ? Maybe the advertising of a council meeting would be appropiate for the people of our city.

-- Posted by tinytim on Sun, Dec 7, 2008, at 1:22 PM

What happens up stairs at City hall may never be explained. I can tell you FIRST HAND...yes times are tough...yes money is short. You can not blame the Humane Society NOR the Police department for this situation. I have personally worked at both. I have been the one to be oncall 24/7/365 to pick up strays, injured, unwanted animals. I have also been the one who had to euthanize some of these poor unwanted, neglected, injured animals....think that is a fun job.....NO!!! Do you think it paid much? NO I worked for a salary...INDIANA state minimum for salary....with absolutly NO BENIFITS! NO INSURANCE, NO 401k, NO FSA...NOTHING......but I stayed for 2 years out of the love for the animals. I never faulted the Humane society for that since the money that was there was for the animals!!!

I have also worked at the Brazil City Police Department as a dispatcher...so I know how many calls come in about animals in the city. Do the the city officers have time to do animal control? NO! Is there a humane facility wihin the city to handle the calls and the animals? NO! I find it very hard to believe that city officials think that the funds to the shelter were a gift.....dont think I have ever asked for anything in return for a gift. Its a lose lose situation for everyone including the animals if the city does not renew the contract.

Where do the animals go? Dumped in the county? OH WAIT that is what county taxes are for! Talk about a crock of YOU KNOW WHAT! I just feel the money needs to come from somewhere to support the local shelter. People will be calling the shelter expecting them to do work for the city....since they pay their TAXES...but there will be no service. Those people will then be calling Brazil Police....and blaming them for a JOB NOT DONE!

I just think this mone needs to come from somewhere in the budget! Its very expensive to run a shelter and to ask people to do a VERy thanksless job! So when there is no contract people really need to see ITS NOT THE SHELTER and ITS NOT THE BRAZIL CITY POLICE! Call the MAYORS OFFICE!

-- Posted by WhyInBrazil on Sun, Dec 7, 2008, at 4:38 PM

WhyInBrazil:

According to the Clay County webpage, this county's population is 26,648. That includes 8,194 Brazil residents. Clay County, as a whole, gave $26,000 to the Humane Shelter, which they gladly accepted. That averages out to 98 cents per person in the county. Last I heard, Brazil WAS in Clay County. So, if the Brazil council is offering $12,500, that averages $1.53 per person in the city. Now, Brazil residents are paying city and county taxes. That makes Brazil residents paying $2.51 each.

Isn't that double dipping?

-- Posted by Dagnabbit on Mon, Dec 8, 2008, at 7:17 AM

This place is continually in turmoil! They are deciding wheither or not to accept the money? How many people have been employed, on the board or volunteered there within the last year? CONSTANT TURN OVER!!!!! Maybe they should contact other counties to see how they are handeling budget cuts??? I can guarantee that other counties are in this mess as well. Our county just has to belly ache and flounder with it!!!!

If I sound jaded, I am. My family spent countless hours there. We saw first hand what went on.

-- Posted by sassypants on Mon, Dec 8, 2008, at 9:14 AM

The Humane shelter get their dog and cat food free from science diet they only pay shipping. I think they are double dipping because they was getting 26,000 $ a year from both city and county 52,000 $ and for the last 3 years that have been in disarray for the last 2 years. they have had 3 managers in the last year. County sends they 26,000$ and where does all the money go! I don't think it goes to the dogs they even cut down on what they feed them. 1/2 cup of food in a 24hr period is not enough to keep a 80lbs dog healthy in the winter. And from someone that works there that is what they did cut the dogs food for what they get it FREE. It does not take 26,000$ to keep up county dogs. They do not pick up enough of them to show the cost. They ship dogs and cat out of state unaltered any ways every week. the only time they spay and neuter the dogs for transport is when they go to the east coast and they get money for that from another source. so why they say they use that money from the city and the county to spay and neuter animals with i have no idea because when you adopt an animal to adopter pays for the spay or neuter of that animal in the adoption fee. the whole thing beats me.

-- Posted by whathappen on Tue, Dec 9, 2008, at 10:15 AM

I have suggested to the county that they raise dog license fee so it would be worth it to collect with fines for both not having dog licensed and not having its rabies vaccine. formerly we had a $2 fee for a neutered dog which was ridiculous. Not even worth a letter for renewal reminder.

Charge $10 minimum for first dog and double it for each dog after that per address/family. Compared to what it costs to keep a dog properly that is nothing. Kennel license should be in line with surrounding counties as well. Make fees payable to county treasurer's office and must present current rabies vaccine documentation in order to get license. If caught without these, owner gets fined a substantial amount while if caught with these current a lesser fine for dog running free which is against the law already in this state.

doing these things would not only help pay for better human society contract terms but might pay for a dog "catcher" as well who could impose these fines instead of relying on the sheriff to do it...Not right away maybe but start writing tickets and soon there will be enough. we are no longer in an era when dogs were essential to a way of life like with livestock guarding and hunting. For the most part these are now hobbies and part of the expense of these hobbies is having the dog. I have more trouble with loose dogs in with my livestock than I ever do with coyotes. so long as there are rabbits to eat, the coyotes leave me alone. It's the dogs who run the livestock for fun who do the damage bit I don't blame the dogs as it's the irresponsible owners who let the dogs roam who are to blame. License the dogs. Fine the owners when they aren't. Then you can pay the humane society employees enough so they can hire licensed technicians for their care and pay veterinarians to neuter the dogs. IF there's money left over, THEN adoption rates can be subsidized to get more dogs adopted out by what is taken in via fees and fines.

Look at the price of dog food and healthcare maintenance. If people can't pay to license and vaccinate their dog, they can't afford to feed it either.

-- Posted by Jenny Moore on Sat, Dec 13, 2008, at 12:08 PM

What exactly is this dog license you referring to? Is it something through the Humane Society or through County Government? Just curious.

-- Posted by spiritof56 on Sat, Jan 10, 2009, at 7:32 AM


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