Commerce closer to finalizing an animal shelter agreement with Hunt County

Commerce – After observing a moment of silence for the late Michael Pee Wee Walker, the Commerce City Council discussed the one issue on last night's agenda. After discussion, the council finally agreed to authorize City Manager Bill Shipp to negotiate an Animal Shelter Expansion Agreement with Hunt County. The county had approached Commerce previously with an offer to help expand the city's current animal shelter as well as take on any additional costs of sheltering animals from outside the City of Commerce.

Hunt County offered a total of $40,000 this year and $5,000 for each of the next two years to go towards capital investment cost, including doubling the size of the current shelter. The county would also provide a portion of operating costs each year, which would be variable each year in an initial proposal. County Commissioner Jim Latham was on-hand, and said it was hard numbers the county needed.

LATHAM: We just need a pretty concrete figure. And what Bill said, your current year is going to be based on the previous year. And any inter-local greement we enter into, that agreement is negotiable from year-to-year unless you decide you want to get out of it. Which you have 60 days from the time that we enter into the inter-local agreement to get out of it; you can request to get out of it. All we want is a solid number that we can base our budget on.

Very preliminary estimates show the additional operational costs for doubling the size of the shelter could be as much as $10,000 annually for Commerce.