Subsequent month, Lichfield is planning a brand new contract for animal shelter companies

Cliff Dagle, Lichfield’s animal management officer, opens the door to a modernized 8- to 12-foot trailer physique at C&J Animal Shelter on Stevenstown Highway on March 16. The previous trailer serves as a brief, state-licensed animal shelter. File Joe Phelan / Kennebec Journal

LITCHFIELD – Metropolis officers are shifting ahead with a brand new settlement on animal shelter companies and count on a contract to be signed subsequent month.

Residents efficiently filed a petition to incorporate the problem within the metropolis council’s order on Saturday, ordering officers to signal a contract with the Kennebeck Valley Humane Society. Some residents had been involved that the town was utilizing an upgraded field trailer to quickly home stray animals and that they weren’t accepting surrenders.

Animal shelter points first got here to the town’s consideration throughout an elected board assembly in March when Kennebeck Valley Humane Society Operations Director Stephanie Scott urged the town to rethink their contract with their facility in August.

She mentioned Humane Society employees had been educated to carry out minor medical procedures and will transport animals to veterinarians if wanted, and that the town was taking the unsuitable course by having a shelter that didn’t settle for surrendered animals.

Metropolis officers defended the C&J animal shelter, citing financial savings of about $ 2,000 in comparison with working with a humane society, and metropolis supervisor Kelly Weissenfels and breeder Raina Leibovitz testified to C&J proprietor John Alexander’s love for animals. In April, Leibovitz mentioned that the animals of the town had been in his good fingers, and that he even took the canine house with him in order that she wouldn’t should spend the night time in a shelter.

Involved that the town’s metropolis meeting wouldn’t have the ability to contract with the Kennebeck Valley Humane Society, residents started circulating a petition that would come with a warrant.

The petition collected 224 signatures, properly above the required 173.

Weissenfels mentioned it was the longest subject of debate throughout final Saturday’s practically three-hour assembly. He mentioned residents spoke on behalf of the contract with the Kennebeck Valley Humane Society, whereas others spoke about why the state of affairs at C&J Shelter was not as dangerous as individuals wrote about it on social media.

Town has already acquired a draft settlement from the Humane Society, and it’s anticipated that the official settlement can be carried out by July 1. Weissenfels mentioned the contract was more likely to be mentioned at their subsequent election fee assembly, scheduled for June 27 at 6:30 p.m.

On different points on the metropolis assembly, residents additionally accredited a further $ 60,000 to the municipal funds to cowl the unexpected prices of repairing the Woodbury Pond. Failure to eradicate leak by the dam might result in impassability, decrease water ranges in a few of Tacoma’s 5 lakes and scale back the worth of the encompassing property.

Final week, officers accredited a $ 115,000 provide to restore the dam from Chesterfield Associates Inc. on the island of Westport, which includes the usage of sheet pile wall.

Throughout Saturday’s metropolis assembly, voters additionally provided to reimburse the funds for $ 300,000 from the overall fund as a substitute of $ 200,000, however that call failed.

“It appeared that given the uncertainty of the financial system and the potential affect of beginning to pay for the RSU 4 extra faculty subsequent yr, we have to save our cash,” Weissenfels mentioned.

This yr’s whole funds is $ 2,974,223, up $ 151,989 from the earlier yr. As in lots of cities in central Maine, inflation has pushed a lot of the progress, however the metropolis has been in a position to offset this by combining cash from the overall fund and cuts in different metropolis departments.

The price of transporting the switch station has virtually doubled, and the price of diesel, in addition to sand and salt costs, which have jumped by about 27%, have additionally led to a rise in public works.

About $ 30,000 was reduce from particular initiatives, $ 66,000 was reduce from particular initiatives, and a number of other smaller cuts throughout the funds from a number of hundred {dollars} to $ 5,000 helped reduce the consequences of a major funds improve.

“Heads of division have labored arduous to regulate the place potential,” Weissenfels mentioned, “however rising spare components prices and a aggressive labor market have made it rather more troublesome to attain than to blunt the rise.”

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