Humane society, Wood officials discuss purchase

PARKERSBURG – The Humane Society of Parkersburg is considering a proposal from the county over the terms of a new truck the county has agreed to buy the humane society.

Officials with the humane society and the Wood County Commission met Monday to discuss the particulars of the truck purchase.

The two groups recently agreed to a new two-year contract at the current funding level of $271,344 for the humane society to continue providing animal control services, and the county agreed to purchase a new truck for the agency.

Wood County Commissioner Blair Couch was absent Monday, but participated in the meeting via conference call. Commission President Wayne Dunn and Commissioner Steve Gainer were both present along with Wood County Prosecutor Jason Wharton, Humane Society of Parkersburg Board President Carrie Roe, Humane Society of Parkersburg Director Maryann Hollis and other representatives from the humane society.

Wharton reviewed the proposed agreement between the county and the humane society.

”The truck was a component to get the humane society to agree to a two-year contract at the same rate to provide services to the county commission,” he said. ”If they provided services through June 30, 2015, then the truck remains theirs, free and clear.

”In the event they exercised their right to terminate the agreement, for any reason, the truck would revert back to the county. The reason was the county was providing that truck as part of the contract.”

The county has agreed to pay $27,000 for a truck.

Wharton said this provision was to hold the humane society to the agreement.

Legal counsel for the humane society proposed if the contract is terminated, the truck would be returned within 24 days, Wharton said. Also, the county, within 24 days, would pay the humane society the average Blue Book value of the vehicle as of the date of the transfer.

”In other words, you would be buying the vehicle twice,” Wharton told commissioners. ”I can’t recommend the commission accept that language under any circumstance.”

In an alternative measure, Wharton proposed the purchase price of the vehicle would be divided into 24 equal amounts, representing each month of the agreement. If the humane society terminates the agreement, they will owe the county whatever is left on the cost of the truck.

If the county terminates the agreement before the it is up, the humane society keeps the truck, Wharton said.

Wharton said the contract is actually for one year with an option to renew it for the second year. The agreement on the truck is for the full two years.

The county and the humane society have enjoyed a good working relationship, Dunn said.

”We want to keep that and we want to keep it fair for both,” he said. ”I think this is a very fair proposal.”

Roe said they would show their attorney this, discuss it among their board and inform the county of what is decided.

”We need to talk to (their counsel) and talk among our board, because I don’t have a counter proposal since I am seeing this for the first time,” she said.

Couch made a motion to revise the language of the contract as made by Wharton and submit it to the humane society. The commission agreed unanimously.