City, humane society to cut ties Jan. 1

Times-Herald Editorial Staff
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The City of Moose Jaw's contract with the Moose Jaw Humane Society (MJHS) will not be renewed in 2014.

Dave Field, finance chair for the board of directors of the Moose Jaw Humane Society (MJHS) discusses the need for funding during the annual general meeting of the MJHS.

With the Christmas season fast approaching and the two parties remaining at an impasse, Dave Field, the finance chair for the humane society, has confirmed that the contract will not be renewed.

"About three weeks ago, the city manager finally gave us an offer. We responded to that offer in a very timely fashion — within a couple of days — with a counter-offer to it, and that's the last we heard," said Field. "They didn't even e-mail us back to tell us they had received our counter-offer."

John LaBuick, president of the MJHS board, told the Times-Herald in September that the organization had provided seven years of service on a five-year contract.

The humane society had requested $386,053 annually from the city when it opened negotiations prior to the current contract's expiry at the end of 2012.

That price, which LaBuick said was what would be required to offer the pound-keeping service without profit, was an almost threefold increase over the previous contract.

The MJHS also provided the city with formal notice this past August that it would discontinue pound-keeping service if a new contract had not been resolved before the start of the new year.

In September, Mayor Deb Higgins told the Times-Herald the city had requested a more detailed accounting to explain the increase in price.

"While I think everyone on city council and the administration realizes the costs have gone up, what we've asked for from the humane society is a more detailed analysis of the increased costs," Higgins said. "When you're looking at an increase of costs by triple, up to over $380,000, that's an additional 1.5 per cent on the tax base ... it is substantial."

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Organizations: Times-Herald, MJHS board

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