Ascension’s animal control center gets funded another year

Ascension Parish’s animal control center will receive funding to operate next year, after the Parish Council voted unanimously Tuesday to approve an agreement with Ascension’s three municipalities.

The matter, which came from a recommendation of the council’s Strategic Planning Committee, quickly was approved as part of the council’s advertised consent agenda, an item in which numerous issues are typically adopted through one collective vote. No one spoke for or against the item.

The parish operates the Sorrento-based control center, formerly known as the Ascension Parish Animal Shelter, with a six-person staff on call 24 hours a day to pick up aggressive and injured animals throughout the parish.

The shelter also accepts relinquished animals brought in by residents of both Ascension and St. James parishes.

Funding for the shelter will come through an intergovernmental agreement between parish government, which owns and operates the shelter, and the parish’s three municipalities — Donaldsonville, Gonzales and Sorrento.

According to the agreement, the parish will accept animals at the shelter, while charging fees of $175 per animal impounded and $225 per animal that is picked up in the municipalities by parish personnel.

The parish will also charge $225 per animal impounded from St. James Parish, the agreement reads.

The shelter is expected to generate about $147,000 per year through the new fees, according to budget documentation, still leaving the center with a projected loss of $176,475 for the year.

Parish President Tommy Martinez said the agreement will provide funding for the shelter for one year, while the parish looks for ways to find dedicated funding for the shelter for the following year’s budget.

ST. AMANT LIBRARY: The council unanimously voted to allow the Ascension Parish Library’s Board of Directors to purchase land in the St. Amant area for a future branch library.

The site would be located along La. 431, also known as Brittany/Port Vincent Highway, according to parish documents.

In a March 4 letter to the council, library director Angelle Deshautelles said the land would be purchased through existing library funds.

The item was also passed through the council’s consent agenda, with no discussion held prior to the vote.