St. Clair News Aegis (Pell City, AL)

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September 16, 2013

Shelter concerns discussed at Mayors’ Association meeting

St. Clair County —

Two local mayors said Tuesday they aren’t likely to recommend that their municipalities continue giving money to the Animal Shelter of Pell City Inc. (ASPCI).   
Rusty Jessup of Riverside and Joe Funderburg of Pell City told the St. Clair County Mayors’ Association that their cities might no longer provide the non-profit animal shelter with annual contributions of thousands of dollars in tax money.
“I don’t think our council is going to re-up this year,” Jessup said.  “That’s three or four thousand dollars that doesn’t have to be spent or that could be spent for something else.”
Pell City officials have concerns about ASPCI procedures that they have requested be changed before providing the shelter with its usual contribution of $35,000, Funderburg said.
“Their meetings are closed, they’ve had no audit in about 11 years, and they have not allowed our personnel to enter their building.  That’s unacceptable.  They’re asking us to give them $35,000 in good faith.”
According to Funderburg, the city’s ASPCI contribution is renewable Oct. 1, but it won’t be issued unless shelter administrators agree to hold regular public meetings and be more accountable to local governments.
“We want to work this out, but business is business, and we have a responsibility to know where our taxpayers’ money is going,” he said.  “I cannot recommend that we stay on board with the shelter under these conditions.”
Earlier this summer, Springville and Argo officials also reevaluated their municipalities’ contracts with the ASPCI.
In other matters at Tuesday’s mayors’ association meeting:
--Ashville Mayor Robert McKay announced his bid to run for a state legislative post.
--Pell City councilwoman Dot Wood announced her candidacy for St. Clair County revenue commissioner.
 

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