Animal control program startup still on hold

It now appears that an intergovernmental agreement for animal control will not be in place until representatives of Fayette County and all municipalities in the county get together to discuss such an agreement.
That agreement was not on the agenda for Monday’s city council meeting, and was mentioned only briefly by Mayor Rick Gottman.
“A comment was made at the county board meeting that we’ve been holding up the animal control (agreement),” Gottman said.
“I’ll hold that animal control up on our end until we have firm numbers,” he said. “I’m not signing an open-ended contract, and I tried to tell Bruce (DeLashmit of Bellwether, the county’s administrative assistant), and Bruce hung up on me.
“So, that’s where we stand on that. I know Chris Wall (Ramsey village president) was trying to get a meeting with Bruce, with the county, and that has not happened as of last Friday,” Gottman said.
“But people need to watch what they say, because it’s not all true,” he said.
Gottman made those statements about a week after Merrell Collins, the county board member who heads up the board’s animal control subcommittee, did say that Vandalia was holding up the process.
“The only reason it’s not put to bed right now is because of the city of Vandalia, and they’ve got my phone number because they certainly gave it out to a lot of people, and they could have asked those questions a month ago,” Collins said.
DeLashmit said at last week’s county board members that the initial proposed of implementing and operating the program had been lowered for several reasons.
He said that the estimate for an animal control shelter was lower than expected, and that the sheriff’s office has offered to provide a former K9 squad vehicle.
He also said that instead of constructing a stand-alone shelter, the county could build an addition onto the sheriff office’s storage building on Ill. Route 185 northwest of Vandalia. That, DeLashmit said, would lower the cost even more.
And, board Chairman Jeff Beckman reported at last week’s meeting that Fayette County Habitat for Humanity volunteers have expressed an interest in building the shelter.
The latest proposed intergovernmental agreement that was received by The Leader-Union last Thursday does give specific contributions for each governmental entity.
The total capital outlay for shelter construction, vehicle and equipment is listed at $33,500, with the total coming from $24,000 for a building, $4,000 for a vehicle, $3,000 for equipment and $2,500 for office setup.
The contributions by the county and municipalities in the county as listed on that document, based on population, are: county, $19,197; Vandalia, $9.787; St. Elmo, $1,129; Brownstown $753; Farina, $941; Ramsey, $941; and St. Peter, $753.
The annual operating costs for the program are estimated at $86,230, including $46,000 for labor.
The proposed annual contributions for the governmental entities are: county, $51,000; Vandalia, $26,000; St. Elmo, $3,000; Brownstown, $2,000; Farina, $2,500; Ramsey, $2,500; and St. Peter, $2,000.
The document includes prorated contributions for the current fiscal year: county, $38,250; Vandalia, $19,500; St. Elmo, $2,250; Brownstown, $1,500; Farina, $1,875; Ramsey, $1,875; and St. Peter, $1,500. The total for the balance of this fiscal year is $66,750.

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