SHERIDAN — A proposed contract with the Sheridan Dog and Cat Shelter will change the shelter’s funding source from General Purpose Excise Tax dollars to an annual budgetary allocation.

The new contract provides the animal shelter with $100,000 in annual funding from the city’s general fund annually, according to city attorney Brendon Kerns. In the past, the shelter has been funded through General Purpose Excise Tax Dollars in amounts ranging between $69,000 and $100,000, according to Kerns.

Currently, the city is providing $69,000 in GPET dollars to the shelter for fiscal year 2022. If the new contract is approved at next week’s city council meeting, the animal shelter will vacate the remainder of those dollars in favor of the $100,000 annual allocation, Kerns said.

Under the new agreement, the city will continue to pay the shelter’s utilities — water, sewer, animal disposal and electricity — in the amount of roughly $20,000 a year, Kerns said. The city will also continue to maintain the shelter’s premises, equipment and grounds.

The proposed 20-year contract will run through Dec. 31, 2041, and also has an optional five-year renewal, which could extend it through the end of 2046.

The length of the contract, along with the consistent source of funding from the general fund, will help ensure longevity and financial security for the shelter, Kerns said.

“It sounds like a long time, but in reality, for what the city and the shelter needs, it functions very well,” Kerns said, noting the city was ill-equipped to care for its animal population if the shelter was to fail financially. “…It provides us with the long-term stability that we need, and it provides them with the long-term stability they need.”

Mayor Rich Bridger also spoke in favor of the new contract.

“I do like this,” Bridger said. “For one thing, it gives the dog and cat shelter some stability. They know what they’re going to get so it’s not a guessing game, which can make it difficult for them to run that shelter …  You can see (their GPET allocation) swung from $69,000 one year to $100,000. It is hard to run a business and plan when you don’t know what you’re going to get.”

Bridger said he thought the contract was a smart business deal for the city and had a good long-term value.

“I can tell you, if we ran the shelter ourselves, the cost would be significantly more than that amount,” Bridger said.

The city previously entered into an agreement with the Sheridan Dog and Cat Shelter Aug. 30, 2000, and that agreement expired earlier this year, according to Kerns. The prior contract was established with the intent of constructing an animal shelter on former landfill property at 84 East Ridge Road. The basic terms of the contract required the shelter to manage the operations of the facility and the city to pay for utilities, maintain the property and provide GPET funds for operations.

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