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The Gun Barrel City Council balked at approving a contract request from the Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake to be sure they are paying a fair price for the service.

On the agenda was an addendum to the Animal Shelter Services agreement increasing the monthly amount from $1,250 to $1,600. Henderson County and several other entities have recently agreed to up their contribution to the shelter to help it meet mounting expenses.

Mayor David Skains said he was concerned about the sharp increases in the cost of using the shelter.

“In order to adequately compare animal control costs with other agencies, Gun Barrel City staff contacted the majority of the entities listed and determined that most, if not all paid somewhere between $50 and $55 per animal impound on a pay as you go basis,” Skains said.

The request the city received from the shelter was $48,000. Skains said the average number of animals for the past four years was 349 impounded.

“At the current rate paid out by other entities applied to Gun Barrel City, the cost for those years would be about $19,145, considerably less than what we’ve been told is our fair share,” Skains said.

If the city approves the $350 per month increase requested by the Humane Society, Gun Barrel will have experienced an 88% increase in shelter costs since 2018.

“An annual contract gives us limited control of what we’re spending,” Skains said. “I’m all for taking care of our fair part, but it keeps rising.”

He favored paying a per-animal fee of about $55 so the city can have a clear picture of what its animal control costs are.

Skains said he was disappointed that no one from the Humane Society was present at the meeting, Tuesday.

The council voted to table the item and schedule a special meeting with Humane Society officials to discuss their request.

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