Moose Jaw, Humane Society reach tentative deal

Justin Crann
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Potential agreement awaits council ratification

If council gives the green light, the Moose Jaw Humane Society (MJHS) and the City of Moose Jaw will have a new deal.

Matt Noble, Moose Jaw's city manager, responds to a question during Monday evening's regular executive committee meeting.

"(The) contract has been negotiated to a new value of $194,500 per year," said Matt Noble, Moose Jaw's city manager. "On a fee-for-service basis, it will address issues dealing with the providing of pound keeping services as well as bylaw enforcement."

At that rate, the contract's face value is substantially lower than the MJHS' initial offer of $386,053, extended in the final year of the previous deal. 

That offer was a threefold increase over the contract they had been operating on. At the time, it was what John LaBuick, chair of the organization's board of directors, said the humane society needed to operate the pound keeping service without profit.

It is also less than the initial offer extended by the city in Oct. 2013, which was valued at $200,000 and included $83,000 for medical costs in lieu of euthanization.

"It was a negotiated price that was based on information that became available through a facilitated process," said Noble.

But there are additional terms involved in the deal.

In a copy of the proposed fee-for-service agreement obtained by the Times-Herald, those terms include an annual adjustment of funding "in accordance with the Consumer Price Index for Saskatchewan," and a lump sum payment of $30,000 "in recognition of retroactive payment for the previous Fee for Service Agreement."

In addition, the city will "provide to the Humane Society all revenue collected from pound and seizure fees" and "all revenue collected pursuant to the Dog Bylaw respecting the licensing of dogs … in excess of $43,000."

That figure was adjusted down from the previous contract, which forwarded all revenue collected in excess of $48,000, according to Myron Gulka-Tiechko, the city's clerk and solicitor.

In addition, dog licensing fees will be adjusted, with the impound fee increasing from $30 to $40 and the detainment fee increasing from $10 to $20 for a period of up to five days.

Noble said he was happy to see the agreement come to fruition.

"The community deserves a consistent service and we have engaged a group of people who are dedicated to service to animals," he said. "Throughout the process, that's what has been of interest to the city. I think it was one of our guiding principles … on both sides, animals first."

The deal was approved by executive committee Monday and will come before council for final approval as part of the committee's minutes April 21. If the deal is ratified by council, it will be effective retroactive to April 1.

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Organizations: Times-Herald, Humane Society

Geographic location: Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan

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