Another obstacle that held up a deal under the previous commissioners was space that was being leased to the Jeffersonville Police Department for storage. Stephenson said the money owed by the city for using the space was forgiven.
“We do have a responsibility,” Stephenson admitted. “Mike’s trying to collect $198,000 that he wouldn’t pay on his own; these are debts that were incurred while he was a Clark County commissioner.”
Stephenson asked why the present county commissioners are being held responsible for a debt that was incurred by the previous administration, including Moore.
Moore admitted that it was a fair criticism.
He said in 2010 that he believed the fee needed to be paid to the city. But because of annexation the county’s numbers and payment should change. Therefore the payment was not made in 2011.
“Nobody from the city at that time addressed the question,” Moore said. “It lingered. Now I am trying to [fix it].”
In 2012, Meyer said the payment to the animal shelter was built into their budget, but was removed when the commissioners’ budget was cut by the Clark County Council.
Stephenson said the former commissioners actually had money in their budget to pay the fee, but chose not to. He added that the current commissioners would pay $63,500 tomorrow.
“I only want to do what’s right,” he said. “We can only fix what we can afford now. We can’t pay for the mistakes of the past.”
Moore responded that the price is supposed to be $66,200 per year and said that price is very outdated. Even with the request the expectation is the full payment will not be made.
“I know the county is not going to be able to make that commitment,” he said. “Sure it’s putting pressure on them, when do you get to a point ... when do you say enough is enough? I don’t think it’s fair for the residents of Jeffersonville to bear the cost of the animal shelter in the county.
“If they want to participate in the J.B. Ogle animal shelter there is a fee,” Moore said. “Every entity pays into this except one, and service will no longer be free to Clark County.”