The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

April 11, 2013

Council, CHS nearing agreement

By Katie Dahlstrom Herald Staff Writer
The Clinton Herald

---- — CLINTON — The Clinton Humane Society is on the path to being reinstated as the city of Clinton’s animal control services provider.

The final decision will be made when the council reviews the proposed contract during a special City Council meeting Thursday morning.

The Clinton City Council during its Committee of the Whole meeting Tuesday night interviewed representatives of the Humane Society and the agency’s attorney, David Pillers, to get answers to questions that had been posed to the organization, but remained to be answered.

The Humane Society was the city’s service provider until earlier this year when city and Humane Society officials could not reach an agreement regarding the subsidy the city should pay the facility for the services.

The city had been paying the society a $65,000 subsidy annually, but when the contract came up for renewal this year, the contract drafted by society representatives called for a $120,000 subsidy. The council had agreed to this contract, but it was vetoed by Mayor Mark Vulich. After council members could not achieve a 5-2 vote to override the veto and reinstate the contract, the city chose to send out a request for proposal to different agencies that could provide animal control services.

Only the Humane Society submitted a proposal. This time, the contract submitted required a $105,000 subsidy. Their proposal, however, did not meet the criteria of the RFP that was issued, causing city officials to ask for more clarification. Still, City Council members agreed to move forward with an interview.

During the committee meeting Tuesday night, council members discussed the organization’s various certifications and licenses, which permits it to operate as a pound and animal shelter.

“I think they more than comply with what is expected to be a kennel or a shelter to operate for the city, for the citizens and for the animals of the community,” At-large Councilwoman Jennifer Graf said.

The Humane Society also provided the city with five years of 990 forms, which detail the agency’s financials.

One of the items the Humane Society did not comply with in the RFP issued by the city was one that required a five-year contract. The Humane Society originally wished for a one-year contract, but during the meeting Tuesday, agreed to a three-year contract without yearly renewal provisions.

Another stipulation of the contract that was agreed to is that a Clinton City Council member will sit on the Humane Society Board of Directors and Humane Society Operations Manager Sandi Bartels will serve as the liaison between the two organizations.

The contract will also contain the Humane Society’s policy not to turn away any stray animals.

The special City Council meeting is scheduled for 9:45 a.m. Thursday at City Hall.