Garfield County ups contribution to CARE |

Garfield County ups contribution to CARE

Phillip YatesGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS – The budget ax has swung the other way for Colorado Animal Rescue.Garfield County commissioners, at their Monday meeting, approved bumping up CARE’s budget by $95,000, helping it to achieve its budget goals from the county this year.Commissioners approved directing $20,000 from the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office to the shelter for expenses like increased electrical and gas bills. The money comes on top of $30,000 Sheriff Lou Vallario has already moved to the shelter from his office’s budget. The commissioners also approved a $75,000 grant for spay and neuter programs at the shelter, bringing the county’s assistance to the shelter for 2008 to $275,000, a figure the group initially sought in December. “What we are accomplishing with animal control could not be accomplished without CARE,” said Commissioner Trési Houpt as she made a motion to increase the agency’s funding.Commissioner Larry McCown voted against the increase while John Martin and Houpt voted for it.”This is super. It is plain super,” said Cindy Crandell, founder of CARE, after the commissioners’ vote.Crandell thanked Vallario for his efforts to alter his budget to help the shelter combat the growing problem of dealing with unwanted and stray dogs. When commissioners approved the county’s 2008 budget in late December, the shelter’s contract with the county was reduced to $150,000 from the $200,000 it received the year before. It was also a large decrease from the $275,000 the shelter initially requested for 2008. County officials attributed the budget cut to the need to find additional shelter options because of the limited space at CARE.After approving the budget increase for the shelter on Monday, commissioners, county staff and CARE officials had a 20-minute debate about how to monitor the $75,000 spay and neuter grant – a concern that McCown raised before commissioners approved increasing the county’s assistance to the shelter. Martin also stressed a need to make sure taxpayer money is spent appropriately.CARE will now have to invoice the county for every animal it spays and neuters on a monthly basis. Once the $75,000 is spent, there will be no more money for spay and neuter programs at CARE this year, commissioners said.Budgeting concernsDuring Vallario’s presentation to commissioners on Monday, he expressed concern about funds for nonprofit organizations passing through his sheriff’s office. “CARE has provided a great service for the sheriff’s office, county and the community by providing shelter and adoption services,” Vallario wrote in a memo to the county commissioners. “In return, they estimate that county funds support 40 percent of their operating budget and they fundraise for the remaining 60 percent. I fully support their program; however, I do not agree that monies intended to ‘support’ nonprofit organizations should be passed through my budget.”But during Vallario’s presentation, Houpt noted that his office receives an obvious benefit from the shelter. Because the facility is consistently full with county animals, CARE staff have said, the shelter isn’t always able to help the community.”Practically speaking, it is the facility you rely on,” Houpt said.Despite his objections, Vallario said he looked forward to working with the shelter workers because he and they have “the same goals.”Moments after leaving the commissioners’ chambers, Crandell said saying she was looking forward to telling her staff about the commissioners’ vote.”They are going to be ecstatic,” she said.Contact Phillip Yates: 384-9117pyates@postindependent.comPost Independent, Glenwood Springs, Colorado CO

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