The Bartholomew County Commissioner has made an important financial gesture to help homeless dogs and cats.
At the Commission’s annual organizing meeting, the Commissioners agreed to increase their support for the Bartholomew County Humanitarian Society by 38% from last year.
The Humanitarian Society will receive $125,000 distributed in a $10,417 allotment each month, according to figures released Monday. This is up from the $90,474 total offered last year.
This money will be appropriated in exchange for the Humane Society agreeing to accept domesticated animals brought in by the Bartholomew County Animal Control Department. Humanitarian Association officials previously met with the Commissioner during a working session to negotiate the new agreement, said Commissioner Tony London.
“They asked for that amount and we thought it was appropriate,” London said.
Inflation was cited as one reason for the increase, but London said the Humanitarian Society has been tied to the same amount from the county for several years. However, the number of livestock brought into animal shelters by Animal Control employees continues to grow.
“Accepting more animals doesn’t automatically mean more rewards,” London said. “It’s always been a flat annual fee.”
Increased funding has prompted animal rights activists to continue pressuring county officials to enact animal control ordinances to match those approved by the City of Columbus, which deals with both welfare and management.
London says discussions with the public, including activists, have made Bartholomew County animal control officers “more responsive and better prepared” in their work.
But the commissioner says the county government doesn’t have the resources to enforce what the city’s ordinance says.
“We have more than doubled the area we cover, but only 15% of our staff,” says London.
Besides the Humanitarian Society, four other non-profit organizations also received funding from the Commissioner.
- Centerstone Behavioral Health will receive $739,872 to provide mental health services to those who cannot afford it. The state mandates an amount counties must pay each year, which was $679,948 last year.
- Developmental Services, Inc. will receive $115,000 (up from $100,000 last year) to serve adults and children with mental, physical, and emotional disabilities.
- The Bartholomew County Arc receives $15,000 to help people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. This is the same amount the organization received last year.
The Commissioner also agreed to give Mill Race Center $5,000 to supplement the gasoline budget.
State law prohibits counties from donating to nonprofit organizations, but county commissioners are permitted to pay such organizations certain amounts to provide services to county residents. .
In addition to several reappointments, the Bartholomew County Commission has made seven new appointments to various boards, commissions and commissions. they are:
Jeff Jones – Council of the Alliance for Substance Abuse Progress.
John Cunningham – Community Corrections Advisory Board. Originally from Edinburgh, he overcame his own addition and founded a recovery group, Recover Out Loud. Cunningham was featured in the documentary ‘The Addict’s Wake’.
james smith – Trustees of benefit trusts
Dr. Eric Tanenbaum, Dr. Steve Newton, Dr. Julie Croix – Bartholomew County Health Board
Jared Dickie – Joint District Committee of Zoning Appeals