By Katie Dahlstrom
Herald Staff Writer
The city subsidy for the Clinton Humane Society is nearly doubling for the time being, following a Clinton City Council vote to provide the organization with $120,000 of support.
However, further council action guarantees the contract will be discussed again in the coming weeks.
After volleying between committees for months, the Humane Society contract was approved 5-2 with Ward 4 Councilmember Paul Gassman and Ward 1 Councilmember Maggie Klaes voting ‘no.’ Included in the contract is the jump from a $65,000 subsidy to a $120,000 subsidy.
The contract stipulates the Humane Society will handle and house animals brought in by city employees and citizens, as well as the terms of that care. If the council were to decide it does not want to continue with the $120,000 subsidy, the contract approved Tuesday night contains a clause that allows either party to leave the agreement with 30 days of notice.
City Council member Bev Hermann was the sole council member to speak before the vote was taken. She raised concerns about the amount of animals brought in and their fate, included the percentage of animals that are euthanized. The Clinton Humane Society's non-affiliation with a national humane society organization also concerned Hermann.
Other than Hermann's concerns, there was no other discussion.
After the council approved the contract, it also approved a motion to create a committee that will consist of council member Julie Allesee, Police Chief Brian Guy, and Humane Society representatives Ed O'Neill, Sandi Bartels and Jessica Alvarez in order to investigate a proposal from O'Neill that he claims would save the city up to $35,000 for animal control services. O'Neill stated it could be done in 90 days, but the city's certified budget must be completed by mid-March, potentially shortening his time frame.
Further expanding future conversations, the council approved a resolution to pursue an agreement with a local vet for animal control services.
Based on initial information provided to the council, the vet would require a $40,000 subsidy and only take animals brought in by a city employee.