Building 2 Large Animal Shelters In Chattanooga Makes Absolutely No Sense

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

I read the Chattanoogan story titled, “Humane Educational Society Officials Say Chip Baker Trying To Derail $10 Million County Gift For New Shelter.” The story of Commissioner Chip Baker along with other commissioners reconsidering the investment of a new second animal shelter for Hamilton County is hope for common sense.

 

The story states, “Commissioner Baker is among some members on the commission interested in exploring the idea of the HES cooperating with the city's McKamey Animal Center, which has a fairly new shelter.”

 

There is absolutely no reason to grow a duplication of services with taxpayer dollars when Hamilton County can partner with the McKamey Center.

 

For some reason any written or vocal disagreement with the Humane Society plans gets you branded as a person that does not care for animals.

I have more pets and animals than most people that write these opinions.  I love animals and work with them daily. 

 

However, government spending has to make sense; logic must prevail.

 

I am concerned that a few egos and desire for control are costing the city of Chattanooga taxpayers a very unfair tax inequity.  The city taxpayers participated in the capital construction. The city also funds annual operating costs of McKamey Center.  Now, under the Hamilton County proposal, the city taxpayer will also fund the brick and mortar of the Humane Society to the tune of $10 million. I also believe that Hamilton County provides annual operating funds to the Humane Society. I am still checking the amount of non-profit donations from local governments to the Humane Society.

 

It is interesting to me that the Humane Society conducted a study and purchased land without considering reasonable amendments to their operation that would allow a partnership with the McKamey Center.  Likewise, the McKamey Center could make concessions to allow such a merger.

 

The city of Chattanooga taxpayers are not being adequately considered in the tax implications when Hamilton County hands $10 million for duplication of services or two shelters.   The city taxpayers will then fund two shelters. It makes absolutely no sense.

 

There is no way to rationalize that building a second shelter in the city of Chattanooga makes any sense at all. The McKamey Center has extra land according to several other news pieces.  Let the Humane Society sell their land and build next door to McKamey - have a one-stop shop for Hamilton County for animal needs, and share resources.

 

Check all egos and power mongering at the door, and plan in the best interest of the taxpayers that are funding this facility and for animals. I am concerned that the wishes of a few people are an obstacle for the taxpayers that will fund duplicate shelters.

 

Hamilton County government, it is the public’s money and it makes no sense to have two major facilities.

 

Get an attorney, mediator, and work this out where the McKamey Center and Humane Society can be on the same parcel operating a one-stop shop for animals in Hamilton County. 

 

Merge animal shelters Hamilton County and McKamey Center. It is the right thing to do.

 

April Eidson


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