During the Tuesday Gun Barrel City Council meeting members of the council rescinded a motion to accept an offer made by business owners Rob Rea and David Westerfield to contribute $15,000 to the Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake for an interlocal agreement for shelter services between the city and the HSCCL .
Mayor David Skains said, “On the advice from our city attorney we were not able to accept the offer made by Mr. Rea and Mr. Westerfield.”
At the September meeting representing the HSCCL Board President Lanette Ainsworth told the council, “the HSCCL has a yearly budget of $375,000.” She said in 2018 the city contracted with the shelter at a yearly rate of $10,500. This year the shelter is asking the council for $21, 355. “This is due to the fact last year we were told to expect about 200 animals when in fact we took in 400 animals from Gun Barrel City.”
After meeting with the city, Ainsworth offered this compromise, “HSCCL lowered the the animal contract rate to Gun Barrel City several times in the past couple of months in an effort to continue the animal services. Gun Barrel animal intake was twice the number of animals we were originally told when they started using our service. So our first proposal was an increase due to the increase in animals. After negotiating with Gun Barrel, we went back to the original contract rates which was $850.00 a month,” said Ainsworth. “With that offer, we asked the city to work on reducing the number of animals strays. We suggested they have city registrations in place, post lost animals on city websites, require micro-chipping and other ordinances designed to reduce roaming pets.”
The council in a unanimous vote accepted the shelter's offer and extended the contract for one year. Skains said the council also considered the Athens shelter had its hands full with animals from Athens and around the county.
During the October City Council meeting Westerfield owner of W HAUS décor and More told the council he understood the city had more important issues. “I understand the city needs to think about the fire and police departments,” Westerfield said, “But my dog is my family and its a very important part of my life.”
Rea told the council he just wanted to help the animals in Gun Barrel City and did not want the finances to be an issue when the decision on an interlocal agreement between the HSCCL and the city.