By JEROD CLAPP
NEW ALBANY — An ordinance to update animal codes in the city, which includes raising boarding and medical fees slightly, was passed unanimously by the New Albany City Council on Thursday night.
David Hall, director of the New Albany-Floyd County Animal Shelter, said in spite of the fee increases of $2.50 each — now $7.50 per day for boarding and $17.50 for medication and vaccinations for animals — the shelter will still have financial difficulty after council member Diane McCartin-Benedetti asked if it would help the shelter cover its costs.
“We’ll never cover our costs,” Hall said. “It’s impossible to cover the cost we incur with impounding animals in the community. It’s an attempt to help defray some of the cost that we are incurring.”
He said the costs of food and medicine have increased, in some cases significantly, as demand has increased. He said the fee increase may help offset the cost, but the shelter didn’t want to raise them so high that residents couldn’t afford to redeem their animals.
But he said the new code also updates requirements for restraint and tethering to include underground electric fences.
John Gonder, council member, also asked if the entire county still paid dues for the shelter’s service or if some towns had opted out.
Hall said even though state law requires towns to pay for the shelter’s services, Greenville has opted out. However, he said the county funds the town’s $1,500 bill for animal control services.
Council member Shirley Baird’s ordinance to move all city documents to the clerk’s office was defeated — including by her own vote — after more information was shared by city attorney Stan Robison.
Baird introduced the ordinance under the impression that one filing cabinet of documents would be moved, but Robison said that was just in legal documents. He said with everything else, 90 cabinets would need to be moved.
At first, Baird suggested amending the ordinance, but council member Dan Coffey said it might be better to vote it down and rewrite.
As the city considers new computer-management software, Coffey said perhaps digitizing the documents at a later date would help, as well as looking at getting a volunteer to greet visitors of the city/county building, which could help in directing them to the information they’re trying to find.