NEWS AND TRIBUNE
A day after Clark County Commissioners turned down Jeffersonville’s latest offer to settle a funding dispute at the J.B. Ogle Animal Shelter, the two parties announced a tentative agreement Friday afternoon.
Clark County agreed to pay the city $150,000 for its share of the costs related to the operation of the shelter for 2010-13, according to a press release issued by the city. Clark County also agreed to waive $33,464 in rental fees owed by Jeffersonville for storage space in the county building. The city will get the storage space at no rental charge through 2014, equaling $23,039.
The pact will mean the J.B. Ogle Shelter will continue to accept animals brought in from the unincorporated areas of the county.
“This is a fair compromise for both the city and the county,” said Mayor Mike Moore in the release.
The mayor had given Clark County a Monday, March 4, deadline to reach an agreement, or the shelter would no longer accept animals from the unincorporated county areas.
“I’m pleased that we are able to work out an agreement so there is no interruption in services. It was in everyone’s best interests, especially the animals’, to work something out,” Moore added.
Moore and Clark County Commissioner Rick Stephenson — who had sparred over the shelter funding — said the goal now is to enter into a new interlocal agreement between the two entities. The two were operating under an agreement that expired in 1999.
Clarksville, Charlestown, Sellersburg, Borden and Utica also pay annual fees to the city and are up-to-date on payments.
WHAT A DIFFERENCE A DAY MAKES
On Thursday, the city extended a new offer to solve the funding dispute, but Stephenson said commissioners weren’t interested. That deal would have had the county paying the shelter $125,000 in unpaid fees
However, the city also was counting on the county paying an additional $66,150 owed for this year.
Stephenson balked at that.
“I’m not going to be able to get any more money this year,” he said Thursday. “This should have been solved years ago. We’re not going to be strong-armed in the way we're going to do it. I’m tired of bickering with him.”
Because of the discord, the county already was making plans to have county residents take animals to a kennel off of Ind. 62. That will now be canceled.
“The agreement means we can continue our partnership in operating the animal shelter,” Stephenson said in the release. “We are putting this disagreement behind us and moving forward for the betterment of the citizens of Clark County. It’s a new start.”