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Mayor working to solve pound issue

By Staff | Jun 30, 2013

Blue Earth mayor Rick Scholtes thinks there must be a way for both the City Council and the Faribault County Humane Society to come to an agreement on how the city’s animal pound should be run.

And, he is working hard to have the two sides sign a new lease that would outline how the city wants the humane society to operate the stray animal shelter and still be able to incorporate the society’s goals as well.

Last Monday night he presented a reworded contract which he felt was fair to both entities.

The humane society was operating the pound in 2012 under an agreement with the city. That lease ran out last December and has not yet been renewed.

On Monday Scholtes went over all of the changes in a modified lease agreement, explaining them to both the council and representatives of the humane society.

Some of the items, such as having all the paperwork completed at City Hall by city staff, met with approval from the humane society.

“That would be a beautiful thing,” says Stacy Thompson of the society.

It also solves one of the issues of the city, which is getting information on the number of animals at the shelter, where they came from and where they are going.

The city would also agree to do mowing, another item that has been an issue in the past.

But, some of the other changes were not so welcome.

Whether the city would actively contract with other entities in the county to take in strays was in question.

The new wording in the lease says the city would have the option to do so. The humane society members, however, want this to be more than just an option.

How many overhead leashed run lines could be operated was another area of contention. The city wants one, the humane society three.

Scholtes says the city also has to have safeguards in place to prevent any incidents involving the dogs and neighborhood kids.

Both sides agreed that a new fence around the entire pound area would solve a lot of the issues.

Members of the humane society also said there may come a time when the amount of money the city pays them for tending to the animals will have to be looked at.

Currently that amount is $5 per day per animal. Each animal could be kept as long as 20 days before being turned over to the society and no longer will be the responsibility of the city.

The humane society generally places the animal in a foster home while trying to have it eventually adopted.

The society members said they believe Blue Earth should take the lead in developing and building a countywide animal shelter.

The contract will be modified once more and brought up for further discussion at the July 15 City Council meeting.

In other business on Monday night, the council:

Agreed to sign off on a proposal from Blue Earth Light and Water to borrow $1.065 million in an interim financing load to help them pay for their share of costs on the Highway 169 project.

The loan would be at 1.6 percent for five years. Light and Water would be pursuing bonding for the project work during that time.

By charter rule, the council has to authorize any loans made by Light and Water.

Heard an update on the various construction projects, as well as flooding issues caused by recent rains.

A dike was built on Leland Parkway to prevent flooding on the KBEW radio station property.

The council also learned that some contaminated soil had been found on the corner of Highway 169 and Seventh Street and its removal may increase the cost of the project.

Appointed Jim Ekse to the Blue Earth Airport Authority board to replace Bill Eckles.