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May 13, 2013

Public wants to know what happened to Jeffersonville animal shelter donations

JEFFERSONVILLE —

In the wake of cuts made to the budgets of Jeffersonville city departments, questions have been raised about how donation funds are being spent.

A host of citizens at last week’s Jeffersonville City Council meeting asked city officials what happened, specifically, to money donated last year to the J.B. Ogle Animal Shelter.

In August of last year, then-Animal Shelter Director Sarah Green notified the council the shelter had received a $52,165 gift from the estate of Stella Bello. What happened to that donation was the source of concern for many of those who chose to speak during the public comment portion of Monday’s meeting.

Trish Roehm with Southern Indiana Animal Rescue raised concerns in an email sent to the News and Tribune that the money that was supposed to be a donation to the city’s animal shelter, but instead went into the city’s general fund and was being used for other city departments.

“I think the confusion lies within the fund itself,” said City Controller Amy Deering at Monday’s meeting. “We have one fund for all donations across [city departments]. But each department has a revenue number and expenditure number. They are segregated by department, so there won’t be any police donations spent on the animal shelter, or vice versa.”

Roehm continued and said that the report for the animal shelter’s donation fund was still a cause for concern.

According to the report Roehm had, the animal shelter is overspending out of its donation fund. Her concern for the “overspending” is that it affects the ability of the city to receive grant funds for the animal shelter, which the animal-rescue nonprofit has been seeking on the shelter’s behalf.

Deering explained that Roehm only had a copy of the expenditure report for the animal shelter and did not have a receipt of the revenues the shelter had brought in for the year. She continued that out of the donation fund, the city had only appropriated $20,000, but the animal shelter donation fund was showing a negative balance of $54,000.

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