Temporary animal shelter considered in Humboldt County

DAKOTA CITY — The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors discussed a possible temporary solution to the lack of an animal shelter at Monday’s meeting.

A United States Department of Agriculture inspector last October told the city of Humboldt and the county that they need an approved animal shelter to house the stray dogs and cats that are picked up. The board and the city have since been considering options. On Monday, Supervisor David Lee talked about a proposed agreement which has yet to be signed by the parties involved.

Denise Johnson and her husband own an acreage along Iowa Highway 3 just west of Humboldt which includes some dog kennels. They have been trying to sell the property to the county.

“The agreement is that we will rent the dog kennels on Denise’s property $100 a month and pay the utility bill on that little shed,” Lee said.

Lee said he has not spoken with Humboldt City Administrator Travis Goedken yet about splitting the cost.

“But I think they need to pay half of it,” Lee said.

The outside will need to be painted. The kennels will be power washed and will be raised so the dogs can get up off the floor.

“Whatever plumbing that needs done or wiring that needs done we will take care of that,” Lee said. “Right now it is a verbal agreement, but Denise said we can go ahead and start working on it.”

Johnson said the water heater needs to be redone, but she didn’t think there was any wiring that would be needed.

It will work until the county finds something more permanent, Board Chairman Rick Pedersen said.

“It will be a temporary fix for us,” Lee said.

“It is really pretty inexpensive to run,” Johnson said.

Supervisor Bruce Reimers asked about insurance coverage for the property. He said he just wanted to protect Johnson and the volunteers from getting bit.

Johnson has been in contact with her insurance agent.

Also, Humboldt County Sheriff Dean Kruger is looking into the insurance liability of the proposal, Lee said.

The USDA inspector has already looked at the building and gave her approval, Pedersen said.

“She gave us her blessing and said she wouldn’t see us until next year,” Lee said.

“This is due to a lot of volunteer help from a lot of people in the community working together to put it together to find a solution to our problem,” Pedersen said.

In other business, Jan Thompson, director of the Renwick Library, brought the libraries’ annual funding request to the board.

“Prices still go up,” she said. “Books are going up every day. Technology is changing all the time.”

The libraries are asking for a 5 percent increase in the next county budget. They asked for and received a 5 percent increase on the current budget.

“It’s very important and I think we definitely want to keep funding them to the utmost of our ability,” Supervisor Erik Underberg said. “People do still read books. It is an activity for people in and around these small communities.”