Monroe County OKs animal care deal with Bloomington, shelter numbers for 2020 way down

Non-Bloomington residents will most likely be able to surrender their animals to Bloomington’s animal shelters without paying a fee again in 2022, the way they have for several years.

At their regular Wednesday morning meeting, Monroe County commissioners approved their side of an interlocal agreement that the county has maintained for several years with Bloomington and Ellettsville to cover Bloomington’s cost for animals surrendered by non-city county residents and animal control officers.

On the county’s side, the interlocal agreement still needs to be approved by the county council. It will also need to be approved by the Bloomington city council.

Under the terms of this year’s agreement, the amount paid to Bloomington by Monroe County will be $342,912. Ellettsville will pay $18,612. That’s a total of $361,524.

The total is based on 1,282 animals that were surrendered to the shelter in 2020 by Monroe County or Ellettsville, at a net cost of $282 per animal. Continue reading “Monroe County OKs animal care deal with Bloomington, shelter numbers for 2020 way down”

Bloomington ratifies $380K annual animal agreement with Monroe County, Ellettsville

At its meeting last Wednesday, Bloomington’s city council ratified a three-way agreement between the city, Monroe County, and the town of Ellettsville, for animal control services.

This year, the contract calls for Monroe County and Ellettsville to pay the city of Bloomington a total of $379,327.

Most of that amount will be paid by the county government. The breakdown is $356,790 by the county government and $22,536 by Ellettsville.

Part of what the county and town governments get is the ability of their residents to surrender their animals to the shelter without paying a fee. Under the agreement, Bloomington has to provide services on behalf of the county and town, like adoptions, responding to inquiries from the public, and receiving and recording license fees.

Under the agreement, animals that originate in the unincorporated part of the county or in the town of Ellettsville, will be housed, cared for and, if necessary, euthanized by the city of Bloomington. Continue reading “Bloomington ratifies $380K annual animal agreement with Monroe County, Ellettsville”

Column: B Clear bunnies, in case you need a carrot to dive into data

Like many cities in America, Bloomington uses its website to offer a pile of municipal data to the public.

Bloomington’s data warehouse is branded as B Clear Open Data.

When an item appears on the city council agenda, or an issue becomes controversial in the community, it’s always worth a quick search on B Clear Open Data.

Often a useful dataset is just sitting there, waiting to be analyzed.

Examples of the myriad datasets that have helped inform Square Beacon coverage include: water main breaks, the use of Lenco Bearcat armored vehicle, the ethic breakdown of fire department employees, and shared electric scooter usage.

Plotting out data is not everyone’s cup of tea. I once worked in a newsroom where the page designer dismissed a bar chart I’d built to support a piece I’d written: “If you’ve seen one bar chart, you’ve seen ‘em all.”

Even if you don’t have the inclination or skills to analyze the datasets in B Clear, it’s still worth rummaging around to see what’s there. If you don’t care to analyze the data, just scroll through the records.

Use your own eyeballs to see what might be lurking in those records. Continue reading “Column: B Clear bunnies, in case you need a carrot to dive into data”

Routine animal shelter agreement: A tasty, rounded treat for Bloomington city council’s first meeting of 2020

(Dogs pictured were available for adoption at Bloomington’s animal shelter on Jan. 6, 2020.)

On Wednesday, Bloomington’s city council kicks off 2020 with its first meeting of the year, when it handles organizational matters like the election of new officers.

Some other non-organizational action items also appear on Wednesday’s agenda, among them a $350K interlocal agreement between Bloomington, Ellettsville and Monroe County on splitting costs for Bloomington’s animal shelter. It’s a routine agreement that’s been ratified for several years based on an agreed-upon formula that assigns costs on a per-animal basis.

Another routine interlocal agreement, under which Monroe County administers the building code for the city and the county, also appears on Wednesday’s agenda. It dates back to 1996 and has been extended at regular intervals for the last quarter century.

A third action item the council is expected to handle on Wednesday is a proposal to use existing city code to establish standing committees to distribute some of the council’s work. Continue reading “Routine animal shelter agreement: A tasty, rounded treat for Bloomington city council’s first meeting of 2020”