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Task force discusses merger potential

With an August deadline looming over the Superior Animal Shelter Task Force like the fog that loomed over the city, continued progress was made at Tuesday's meeting.

With an August deadline looming over the Superior Animal Shelter Task Force like the fog that loomed over the city, continued progress was made at Tuesday's meeting.

At the 4 p.m. meeting, representatives of the Animal Rescue Federation, Humane Society of Douglas County, and Duluth's Animal Allies gave presentations to the task force.

The brief presentations outlined the history of the respective organizations, the services they provide, the make-up of boards of directors and functions of staff. Presenters were peppered with questions from task force members, including more specific categorization of expenses, audit procedures, and after hour's access.

Dave Minor, task force president, asked Animal Allies shelter director Linda Baumgarth-Cadotte what role Animal Allies would be willing to play if ARF and the Humane Society of Douglas County were to merge.

One of the suggestions made by the Humane Society of the United States, in a report commissioned by the city, was the city consider a private vendor to operate its shelter.

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"The board of directors of Animal Allies does not want to consider a role, other than an advisory role to the task force at this time," Baumgarth-Cadotte said.

Minor then directly asked representatives from ARF and the Humane Society of Douglas County if their respective boards would be in favor of merging facilities and services.

Judie Philips of ARF and Deidre Gaynor-Peterson of HSDC both responded their boards would be in favor of a merger.

A discussion by the task force indicated that specific talents would be required of board members, and an inventory of skills of current board members would be advantageous in accomplishing a merger. To that end, Minor asked representatives of the two shelters to prepare a list of strengths of their board members for the next meeting scheduled for Wednesday at 4 p.m. in the Government Center.

Related Topics: SUPERIOR
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