Council ratifies new agreement with Humane Society

Lisa Goudy
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Matt Noble, city manager, pages through a report at the April 21, 2014 council meeting at city hall. At that meeting, council ratified a decision of executive committee at the April 14, 2014 meeting to strike a new three-year deal with the Moose Jaw Humane Society.

The Moose Jaw Humane Society (MJHS) and the City of Moose Jaw have a new three-year deal.

“We’re extremely happy,” said Matt Noble, city manager after Monday’s council meeting. “It’s nice to see we have an agreement with a group of people that have common interests with us for the welfare of animals and it’s nice to be able to work with a group of people who are dedicated to that.”

Council ratified executive committee’s decision made on April 14. The new agreement is valued at $194,5000 per year. The agreement will deal with pound keeping services and bylaw enforcement. It includes a retroactive lump sum payment of $30,000 for 2013.

“We’re looking forward to a few years of learning more about how they have to operate in the community and how we can improve not only relations but also service in general to the community,” said Noble.

The agreement is considerably less than what the MJHS originally offered, which was $386,053 or a threefold increase over the previous contract. John LaBuick, chair of the organization's board of directors, had said then it was the amount the MJHS required to operate the pound keeping service without profit.

The new deal is also lower than the city’s original counter offer in October 2013, which was $200,000 including $83,000 for medical costs instead of euthanization.

“It was an interim offer … just to keep everything going. So it was a number off the cuff and when we analyzed the situation, it came out to a pretty close guess, right around the same amount, (but) $6,000 less,” said Noble. “Really it was just because it’s a fee-for-service agreement. It’s based on the services that are being provided so that’s how it worked out.”

He added the new deal is still a “pretty substantial increase” of 67 per cent compared to the previous agreement that expired at the end of 2012.

“That works out for a significant increase for each year that has already gone by,” said Noble. “The base contract as well calls for inflation and prescribed rates for the next number of years as well.”

Representatives from the MJHS declined to comment prior to council ratifying the agreement on Monday. They also declined to comment until they receive a written contract.

Follow Lisa Goudy on Twitter @lisagoudy.

Organizations: Humane Society, Times-Herald

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