Benzie County Animal Shelter continues services with no operational mileage


BEULAH — Benzie County officials are still working on how it will fund the Benzie County Animal Shelter early in the new year.

The animal shelter is generally funded by an operations mile and supported by donations from individuals and the Benzie County Animal Welfare League. However, the mileage expired in 2020 and a request to restore the mileage was not placed on any county ballot in 2021.

When it was discovered that the operating mile could not be renewed, county officials discussed how to fund operations until a mileage could be passed and begin collecting taxes from the mileage. winter 2022.

At meetings of the Benzie County Board of Commissioners in September 2021, the use of Delinquent Taxes Revolving Fund money was suggested by County Administrator Katie Zeits. The idea was adopted by the county commissioners.

“The intention is to borrow, but not to borrow money until it is necessary,” Zeits said at a meeting of the board of commissioners on September 27, 2021. “We want to operate with cash until we need the DTRF loan.”

Since then, there has been no official decision on how much or when that money will be borrowed.

“The use of DTRF was the consensus of the board of directors last fall, and nothing has changed,” Zeits said in an email to the Record Patriot.

However, there have been some changes in the operation of the animal shelter. After discussing employee restructuring and trying to find a way to open the shelter more than three days a week, the shelter is now open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday with a lunch hour from noon to 1 p.m. h.

The refuge may also be open on Saturdays, depending on the volunteers available.

The hours were changed in September 2020, according to a Facebook post on the Benzie County Animal Control Facebook page.

“There will be periodic hours on Saturday mornings as we are able to get help from volunteers,” Zeits wrote in the email.

Although the shelter is more open, the county lost an animal control officer; Dillon Rose. Zeits said he left on his own terms and the county would seek to fill the position.

“He will be missed,” Zeits said at a January 11 board of commissioners meeting. “He’s done a lot of good for Benzie County.”

In the email, Zeits said the county is still trying to meet with the county’s animal welfare league. to discuss the organization’s relationship with the animal shelter.

The welfare league paid for the construction of the current animal shelter and helps defray the costs of neutering and neutering programs, as well as emergency veterinary costs.

“At this point, everything is the same,” said Doreen Carter, president of the Welfare League. “The shelter is open again five days a week as before.”

Carter said it was difficult for the welfare league and the county to meet because the welfare league had a lot of senior members. She also said she didn’t know what formalizing their relationship with the county would look like.

“I think it started because we offered them money to keep the shelter open after the mileage was missed,” Carter said. “I think there is maybe an awareness of the relationship that we have. We are concerned about the shelter and we don’t really want to see anything change.

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Jennifer R. Strohm