Cooperation agreement for Regional Animal Shelter gets green light

The San Marcos Regional Animal Shelter was the subject of an Interlocal Cooperation Agreement approved by the Hays County Commissioners Court on Tuesday between the county and the cities of San Marcos, Kyle and Buda.

Among other things, the agreement lays out the historical cost distribution among those parties and what percentage of the population of the shelter – which is the only intake facility in the county – has come from each of those jurisdictions during recent years.

The agreement was necessary to “define the rights and duties” of the county and each city as they collaborate to home abandoned and neglected animals and to work to reduce animal overpopulation. It was placed on the agenda by Pct. 1 Commissioner Debbie Gonzales Ingalsbe and co-sponsored by Pct. 3 Commissioner Lon Shell.

The total cost of the shelter was estimated to be $1,079,590 for FY 2019 and to increase to $1,503,944 in FY 2020. Of the 2020 funding, $103,000 is for capital outlay, $58,104 for facilities and $9,139 for debt service, according to background agenda items. The 2020 figure also has a revenue credit of $40,907.

Regarding both historical cost distribution and intake, San Marcos accounted for the lion’s share – between the fiscal years of 2015 and 2018, San Marcos’ share of intake was 48 percent (2,711 animals). Hays County had the second largest percentage at 32 (1,811); followed by Kyle at 17 percent (973); and Buda at 4 percent (207).

The cost of operation has risen steadily for each of the partners in recent years, in total from $842,492 in FY 17 to $1,088,794 in FY 2019. Of that latter amount, San Marcos paid 60 percent ($649,854); Hays County 24 percent ($259,596); Kyle 13 percent ($141,881); and Buda, 3 percent ($37,463). Based on the $1,503,944 estimate for FY 2020, San Marcos’ share will be $715,049 ($65,195 above FY 2019); while Hays County will pay $477,688 ($218,092 above FY 2019 funding); Kyle will pay $256,547 ($114,666 above FY 2019 funding); and Buda will pay $54,649 ($17,196 above FY 2019 funding).

“We’ve been working on this for quite some time with our partners,” Pct. 1 Commissioner Debbie Gonzales Ingalsebe said prior to the vote. “This just lays out everyone’s responsibility regarding animal control and the animal shelter.”

“I think we’ve accomplished a lot recently,” Pct. 3 Commissioner Lon Shell said. “This is just the beginning for all of our ‘no kill’ efforts. This kind of starts us off, gets us in the right direction.”

Gonzales Ingalsbe noted that in the coming months, specific components and programs that are part of the larger “no kill” effort will be brought to the court for discussion.

No county funds outside what was already budgeted were required for the action.

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