Colbert County animal shelter in budget crisis, may have to cut employees

The shelter needs a steady stream of funding, or it will face cutting some employees.

Posted: Jul 3, 2019 5:52 PM
Updated: Jul 3, 2019 7:53 PM

Colbert County officials said the Colbert County Animal Shelter is in a budget crisis and might have to let some staff members go if they can't get more funding.

The mayors of Sheffield, Muscle Shoals and Tuscumbia, plus Colbert County Commissioner Tommy Barnes, met with the director of the shelter on Wednesday to try and find a solution to the funding crisis.

"We are strapped right now," said Colbert County Animal Shelter Director Judy Nichols. 

Nichols said the cost of operating the shelter has gone up over the years, but the funding that comes from the county and cities hasn't increased, and it's put them in a bind.

"We need the cities to raise their yearly appropriations," said Nichols.

Nichols, the mayors and the county commission are not on the same page. Some cities feel like they are paying for a service where most of the calls come from the county and don't feel they should pay the same if they are not using the service as much.

"Animal control is made up of four separate entities, the three cities and the county, and not everybody is on the same page," said Sheffield Mayor Ian Sanford.

Sanford said to help, he plans on asking city council members to approve a one time appropriation to the shelter, but the long-term plan discussed is to raise the electrical meter rate, which hasn't been raised in 12 years. It could bring in around $70,000 each year for the shelter, but it wouldn't cost tax payers.

"The cities are paying it. We don't have any special tax on pet owners or citizens. The residential meters are what we use as a base for what we go by and we think that's a pretty fair way," said Sanford.

If they don't get a steady stream of funding soon, the shelter will have to make cuts.

"[We're] not shutting down, but possibly losing employees, that's a real possibility," said Nichols.

Any ideas discussed on how to fix the funding crisis will have to be approved by the individual city councils and commissioners.

Huntsville/Redstone
Cloudy
63° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 63°
Muscle Shoals
Cloudy
69° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 69°
Huntsville/Madison
Mostly Cloudy
65° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 65°
Decatur
Cloudy
67° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 67°
Fort Payne
Mostly Cloudy
62° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 62°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 525049

Reported Deaths: 10824
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson757291498
Mobile40509800
Madison34201497
Tuscaloosa25469445
Montgomery24106574
Shelby23257245
Baldwin20815303
Lee15694167
Calhoun14391313
Morgan14183276
Etowah13728350
Marshall12043221
Houston10442280
Elmore10001202
Limestone9872149
Cullman9524191
St. Clair9519236
Lauderdale9301235
DeKalb8780184
Talladega8124174
Walker7160277
Autauga6819107
Jackson6770110
Blount6563133
Colbert6244133
Coffee5438113
Dale4780111
Russell432639
Franklin422081
Chilton4161111
Covington4090116
Tallapoosa3948149
Escambia390475
Dallas3530150
Chambers3527121
Clarke347760
Marion3083100
Pike306776
Lawrence297796
Winston273272
Bibb257362
Marengo248261
Geneva246375
Pickens233459
Barbour228956
Hale219575
Butler214368
Fayette210761
Henry188244
Cherokee183245
Randolph178841
Monroe174440
Washington166238
Macon156849
Clay150956
Crenshaw149857
Cleburne147341
Lamar139834
Lowndes138053
Wilcox125627
Bullock122340
Conecuh109828
Perry107726
Sumter103632
Coosa103128
Greene91534
Choctaw58924
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 839841

Reported Deaths: 12130
CountyCasesDeaths
Shelby935471600
Davidson88371927
Knox49996626
Hamilton43575488
Rutherford42477424
Williamson27637215
Sumner23591345
Montgomery19799224
Wilson18569230
Out of TN1804895
Unassigned16945133
Sullivan16318287
Blount15240194
Bradley14701148
Washington14291244
Maury13286170
Sevier13222175
Putnam11227173
Madison10913241
Robertson9645130
Anderson8657172
Hamblen8528171
Greene7777152
Tipton7257101
Coffee6845121
Dickson6765109
Cumberland6624128
Carter6502156
Bedford6458129
Gibson6430145
McMinn640097
Roane6216103
Jefferson6098124
Loudon603869
Hawkins5841106
Lawrence583786
Monroe574995
Warren552681
Dyer5380104
Franklin510588
Fayette495576
Obion450696
Cheatham448555
Cocke445198
Lincoln432563
Rhea431875
Marshall413958
Campbell411262
Weakley404464
Giles396499
Henderson374976
Macon359077
Carroll358682
White356468
Hardin352866
Hardeman347264
Lauderdale315144
Henry313175
Marion311047
Claiborne309373
Scott306145
Overton299061
Wayne294534
Hickman281146
McNairy278554
DeKalb276553
Smith275339
Haywood268661
Grainger260049
Trousdale249322
Morgan246739
Fentress238747
Johnson234538
Chester210751
Bledsoe210311
Crockett202048
Polk200924
Unicoi196849
Cannon189731
Union187234
Grundy178434
Humphreys175722
Lake169526
Sequatchie167228
Benton163440
Decatur157739
Lewis156826
Meigs136124
Stewart131328
Jackson130935
Clay109931
Houston108833
Perry105728
Moore100317
Van Buren83823
Pickett75724
Hancock56112

Community Events