The gloves are off when it comes to the contract negotiations with the city of Moose Jaw. After telling you that the city was going to put out a Request for Proposals for animal control, we've learned the Humane Society, who currently hold the contract, has given the city an ultimatum.
Give us a fair contract by the end of the year or we're done.
Board President John LaBuick explains their contract with the city started at just over $100,000 a year for pound services and has increase with inflation over the last six years to about $118,000.
"Go back to 2007 and look at your bills. Look at what it cost you for gas in 2007, just for your vehicle, look at your water bill, look at your sewer bill. By city council's own admission, some of those have gone up by 90%. We're paying that increase!"
LaBuick says the current contract doesn't even come close to covering the animals they deal with each year on behalf of the city and the previous board that signed the contract knew that when they entered into it, but he says they didn't really have a choice. He recognizes that they offer services that are not in the contract but they're not asking for the city to cover that, saying they'll fundraise for shelter costs. They just need the city to cover the actual expenses for 365 days of animal control.
LaBuick was shocked to hear the news Tuesday morning when we brought you the story first, saying he would have liked a heads up from the city but it speaks to the way negotiations have gone. He says they've made offers, provided new budget information and have taken part in several meetings but the city's negotiating team haven't come back with as much as a counter offer, simply saying ''We'll get back to you."
The Humane Society has been without a contract for over a year and LaBuick says they won't continue to work under an outdated deal that doesn't cover what they city expects them to do. December 31st, their phones will go dead.
"We can't do this at this rate next year because it's breaking the Humane Society. We're having to dip into our savings funds every year to cough up extra money to pay down our debt because we don't have enough money coming in."
In our story on Tuesday, Councillor Don Mitchell explained the city wanted to find out exactly what the costs are associated with the animal control services provided by the Humane Society, saying it was hard to separate them from the shelter services offered. Mitchell made the motion for a Request for Proposals after a closed door meeting Monday night that was eventually supported by the majority of council.
He said an RFP would hopefully lay it all out in black and white, helping to determine exactly what services the city needs and what should be covered by the city contract while also determining what services are extra, falling under the shelter umbrella and covered by fundraising.
LaBuick says they've provided those details but nothing else has happened. He says they'll work on an RFP and show exactly what they think the costs are for animal control saying it's not as simple as picking up Fido, putting him in a cage with some kibble for three days. Staff need provincially regulated training, the animals need access to a veterinarian and medication according to provincial laws. Items that cost money and so, they have no alternative but to walk away.
"We're serious. At 12:01am on January 1st, I guess you call City Hall. We will not be taking it on. If this contract is not resolved, we will not be answering the phones as of January 1st. We can't."
City and Humane Society at a Stalemate
Moose Jaw's Sidewalk Days has begun. The annual downtown festival features businesses setting up merchandise on the sidewalk, several
It will be several months before the 7th Aveune southwest bridge re-opens to Moose Jaw traffic. The bridge was damaged by ice flows in
Despite what appears to be fewer mosquitos in southern Saskatchewan due to dry weather, we are entering what health officials call "West
There's a need in Moose Jaw, the city has some money set aside for housing, so could the Moose Jaw Transition House be the next local proj
Northern Saskatchewan continues to deal with raging wildfires that are forcing campers out of the woods and residents from their homes.
148 years old and going strong. That seemed to be the theme of Canada Day in Moose Jaw as the city celebrated our nations birthday with
Valerina Beresha is celebrating Canada Day as a Canadian high school graduate. The native of Kosovo was part of Central Collegiate's
Don't believe everything you hear. There have been reports made to police that people are going around Moose Jaw asking for donations of
There are plenty of ways to celebrate Canada's 148th birthday in Moose Jaw and area. Here is a list of some of the Canada Day fun. MOOS
It was a great show, with a great turn out last night, as it was a near sell out for Country Music's, Toby Keith. The show featured plent
As you look outside today, you'll still notice a haze in the air from the over 100 forest fires in Northern Saskatchewan. According to En
Moose Jaw Artist Carly Jaye Smith at work on "Little Chicago" The latest addition to Moose Jaw's impressive collection of murals is getting
The Moose Jawg is still on. The annual Canada Day charity run in Wakamow Valley is going ahead despite the wildfire smoke that is linger
With another school year in the books, local educators are reflecting on the past two semesters. For Holy Trinity's Director of Educati
Students aren't the only ones exhaling after the completion of another school year. For Prairie South School Division's Tony Baldwin, it'
Today is the last day businesses and other groups will receive city garbage pickup under the Trade Waste Collection Program, with one exce
Wildfire smoke continues to linger over Moose Jaw and southern Saskatchewan, and it's not going anywhere soon. Environment Canada's Speci
The Prairie South classes of 2015 will say their goodbyes today and tomorrow. Cap and gown ceremonies and banquets are scheduled this af
When conditions are dry any sort of grass fire can be a potentially dangerous event. The Moose Jaw Fire Department responded to a gras
This week will be busy for border crossings in southeast Saskatchewan. With the large number of travellers going in both directions for
Six kilometres of street repair begins in Moose Jaw this week. The city has released their "to do" list of roads that need fixing this
More and more community mail boxes are going up around Moose Jaw, and more and more residents are less than thrilled with the new location
They are called the four best years of your life, and for grade 12 students around Moose Jaw, they are about to come to an end. Peacock v
Since 1993, Hunger In Moose Jaw has served Moose Jaw children and their families both with food and education. Last week was the Hunger
Everybody out on the water this weekend is looking for a big catch There are many anglers out on the waters this weekend with hopes of that