Cost Of Animal Shelter Focus Of Letter

The Riley County Commission discussed a letter from City Manager Ron Fehr about the County cost for the new million dollar animal shelter. Here is the letter:

Russ Frey, Chair

Riley County Commission

Dear Russ:

I understand that Stan Morgan, County Counselor; Cory Swisher, County Budget Director; and Bernie Hayen, Director of Finance for the City, have been in contact regarding Riley County’s continued financial participation in the regional animal shelter. Let me say from the outset that I am very pleased with the Commission’s willingness to continue financial support of this important service. I believe it is important to continue the mutual benefit relationship that has existed since the regional shelter was constructed in 1988.

I also understand that you received an earlier correspondence from Terry DeWeese, Director of Parks and Recreation, that suggested that the City was willing to receive an annual amount somewhat lower than was discussed by the above parties. That amount was $34,000 for 2001 to be inflated by 4% for 2002.

Based on this correspondence and the result of the above discussions that Mr. Hayen conveyed to me, I would like to suggest that for 2002 we simply extend the existing agreement between the City and the County with the modifications listed below. In an attempt to minimize the formality of a technical contract, and the fact that an historical understanding is currently in place regarding Riley County’s financial participation in animal shelter operations, it appears that the following key points can become the basis for a contractual letter of understanding between Riley County and the City of Manhattan.

* Commencing on January 1, 2002, the County agrees to pay the sum of $8,840 for use of the Manhattan animal shelter on a quarterly basis. This amount consists of a flat fee of $4,590 quarterly for animals housed at the shelter from the rural areas of Riley County and $4,250 for animal control services that will County.

* Commencing in January 2002 and around the 15th of each month thereafter, the City will submit a report to your office intended for the County Commission that reflects the year-to-date activity at the Manhattan Regional Animal Shelter. This report will include all animals either picked up in rural Riley County or brought to the facility by rural residents from outside the city limits of Manhattan (For the interim, I have asked Bernie Hayen to ensure that this monthly report is delivered to your office.)

* Either the County or City could discontinue this working agreement within 60 days after receipt by written notice.

* This letter of understanding replaces the fonnal agreement previously signed by the City and Riley County.

I also understand from Mr. Hayen that if it becomes apparent that the number of animals entering the shelter from Riley County increases or decreases significantly, both partners will be amenable to re-visiting this issue from the standpoint of the County’s financial support and responsibility.

Since this is simply an extension of a current agreement, I am hopeful that the few modification swill be acceptable to the Commission. If so, a written response affinning this letter is sufficient. Again, I am pleased that Riley County continues to be willing to maintain an ongoing relationship regarding this important service to the citizens we serve. As we both know, the safety and welfare of our citizens is a key function of our shelter and since the expansion/renovation over 70 dogs have been housed in the new dangerous dog isolation area.

I look forward to hearing from you in the near future.

Ron R. Fehr

City Manager