“Let me reiterate that the city does not want to get into the animal control business, but we do not feel like our requests are unreasonable,” Funderburg said.
At the Thursday afternoon work session, the council decided not to consider a proposed ASPCI contract during the upcoming council meeting, which is slated for next Monday, after the city’s attorney said the agreement needed further review.
“We still have some issues,” Funderburg said prior to Thursday’s work session.
City officials have asked that ASPCI open all their meetings, provide the city with standard operating procedures and perform annual audits.
Funderburg said ASPCI officials came back and told city officials the non-profit company would allow the public to attend a meeting every quarter, but not all ASPCI meetings.
“That’s not acceptable to us,” he said.
Funderburg did say ASPCI was doing what it could to move forward with an audit.
ASPCI hasn’t had an audit since it went into business in 2002.
Barbara Wallace, president of the ASPCI Board of Directors, said Thursday afternoon that an audit compilation report was completed Thursday, and ASPCI has provided the city with its operating procedures.
Funderburg said it was his understanding that city employees are not allowed in the shelter.
“That is not acceptable,” he said. “Our animal control officer, police officer and firefighters have the authority to go inside the shelter.”
Funderburg said the shelter is city property, and the city pays the utilities for the building.
He said city employees should have unrestricted access to the city’s own facility.
“That’s not accurate,” Wallace said. “City employees, like the public, have access to the shelter.”
She said ASPCI only restricts access to a small area of the shelter where animals are held for the first seven days of captivity.
Wallace said only ASPCI employees have access to the holding area, and the restricted access is for the protection of the public.
“It’s a very small portion of the building,” she said.
She said someone could get bit or an animal could spread disease and that’s why access to the holding area is restricted.
Funderburg said ASPCI wants a $10,000 contract increase. The city currently pays ASPCI $25,000 a year.
Wallace said the increase is based on the population increase for Pell City, which is based on the 2010 U.S. Census.
“The rate didn’t go up, the population went up,” she said.
Contact David Atchison at firstname.lastname@example.org