Commission costing taxpayers with shelter
To the Editor,
Last summer, the Hancock County Animal Shelter Foundation offered to continue operating the County Animal Shelter for the fiscal year beginning July 2016 for $188,000 which equals $47,000 per quarter. The Hancock County Animal Shelter Foundation, a nonprofit, had operated the shelter for the previous 20 years. The County Commission decided to not accept the Foundation’s bid and instead took over operation of the Animal Shelter effective July 1.
The county recently provided information documenting the expenses associated with operating the shelter for the July through September period. The expense for the first quarter of shelter operation was $94,478. This is a little over twice what it would have cost the taxpayers if the Commissioners had allowed the Hancock County Animal Shelter Foundation to continue operating the shelter.
In June, the Commissioners promised the taxpayers that they “could operate the shelter better than the Foundation.” Based on the amount the commission spent in its first quarter of operating the shelter, the taxpayers will pay $378,000 annually. The Commission’s decision to assume operation of the shelter will cost the taxpayers approximately $200,000 more each year than had the commission just allowed the Foundation to continue to operate the shelter.
The Commission’s decision to take over operation of the shelter appears to be a good example of government mismanagement of our tax dollars.