City Commission Appoves Shelter Funding

February 25, 2014

Toccoa City Commissioners will provide additional funding to the Toccoa-Stephens County Humane Shelter.

Monday, city commissioners unanimously approved a request from the Shelter for $57,640 in additional funding for the remainder of the fiscal year, which runs through June 30.

The shelter made the request after spending the initial $284,000 budgeted by the city and county combined for the current fiscal year.

Toccoa and Stephens County each contributed 50 percent of that budgeted amount, or $142,000, for operations at the humane shelter.

The amount requested by the shelter from the city was less than the initial extra funding request of about $73,000 that Stephens County Commissioners tabled two weeks ago.

At that time, county commissioners asked shelter officials to look for further cuts in that figure.

Toccoa Vice-Mayor Terry Carter said that the city needs to ensure that the county keeps its end of the 50/50 split on this extra funding.

He proposed providing the funding, up to the requested amount, but also up to whatever the county commission chooses to fund.

That proposal was not approved as part of the commission’s motion.

Toccoa City Commissioner Jeanette Jamieson sits on the shelter board.

She said she feels the figure presented to city commissioners Monday, which is the same amount that will be presented to county commissioners today, is the bare bones funding that will get the shelter through June 30.

Jamieson said the city and county have an obligation to make sure the shelter is operating.

“We cannot not meet our (obligation) because of comments they have made,” said Jamieson.

Jamieson said the shelter is looking for ways to continue to cut the budget as it moves forward into the next fiscal year, by working to obtain prison labor from Alto and looking into other cost-saving opportunities.

City Commissioner David Austin said the city and county need to communicate on shelter funding for next fiscal year.

“Going forward, we want to make sure we are all on the same page with the county,” said Austin.

Stephens County Commissioners are expected to take up the shelter’s request for additional funding from the county at their meeting later today.

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