The City of Smithville is expected to enter into a lease agreement next month with the DeKalb Coalition for the Humane Treatment of Animals.
The issue was discussed during Monday night's city council meeting. Although the aldermen favor an agreement they decided to postpone action until they have more time to study the contract.
Under the plan, the Coalition proposes to build a new animal shelter on a four acre site near the solid waste transfer station, behind Tenneco off of Highway 70 east. The property, owned by the Smithville Industrial Development Board, has been deeded to the city, which will enter into a 99 year lease with the Coalition, a 501 (c) 3 charity organization.
The goal of the coalition is for the county to have a permanent and safe location for neglected, abandoned and abused animals; to provide an alternative low-kill policy so these animals receive medical attention, reduce overpopulation, and be cared for until they can be placed in permanent homes.
The City of Smithville and DeKalb County have each pledged to appropriate $75,000 for the erection of a facility. The new shelter will take the place of a smaller one which has been in existence for years on county property but operated by the city behind the DeKalb County Highway Department Headquarters off Smith Road.
The city currently employs one full time person and one other person half time and also provides an animal control vehicle for the purpose of running the existing animal pound. Under the proposed agreement, the city will continue to provide the personnel and vehicle to assist in the day to day operation of the animal shelter to be erected by the Coalition.
The proposed lease/contract between the City of Smithville and the Animal Coalition specifies the following terms and conditions:
* The City is to lease to the Coalition the property for a term of 99 years beginning September 1, 2015 and ending August 31, 2114.
*The City shall pay to the Coalition the sum of $75,000 that has been appropriated for one-half of the anticipated cost for the erection of the animal shelter upon the land leased by the City to the Coalition.
*The Coalition shall be responsible for the erection of the building
*The City agrees to pay all utility bills connected with or which may accumulate directly or indirectly to Coalition's term of occupancy.
*The City agrees that it shall be liable for and make all maintenance and structural repairs for the outside of the building, including roof and the heating and air conditioning units, except if caused by the negligence of the Coalition. The Coalition shall be responsible for maintenance of the inside of the building.
*The City shall not be responsible for any personal property placed on the premises by the Coalition, its agents, servants or employees, and it is understood and agreed that it is the Coalition's responsibility to secure appropriate insurance to cover its personal property from any losses. Any personal property remaining on the premises 30 days after termination of this lease shall be and become the property of the City.
*The City shall insure the building with a reputable insurance company in a sufficient amount to replace the building if destroyed by natural disaster, fire, or other means.
*The City shall continue to provide to the Coalition the full time employee, as well as the part time employee and the animal control vehicle, to assist in the day-to day operation of the animal shelter and will budget funds for this purpose from year to year, subject to approval of the Coalition.
*The Coalition will maintain proper shelter and care for all domestic and wild animals and fowl that come into its custody.
*The Coalition will maintain suitable office hours at the animal shelter for the convenience of the public and for the purpose of transacting business in connection with the duties under this lease and for the purpose of receiving animals or for accepting applications for the redemption of impounded animals.
*The Coalition will, through duly appointed and legally qualified agents and officers, diligently enforce all animal regulation laws and ordinances and will capture and impound animals found running at large in the City in violation of those certain ordinances relating to stray animals and to the restraint of dogs running at large.
*The Coalition will provide proper food, water, shelter, and other humane treatment for such animals and fowl while they are in the Coalition's possession and until placed or otherwise humanely disposed of by the Coalition.
*The Coalition will cooperate with the Health Department by following procedures required by the ordinance concerning persons or animals bitten by an animal in the City.
*The Coalition will investigate all reports of violations of City ordinances relating to animal control and regulation and, when warranted by the facts, shall cause to be prosecuted all persons charged with violation of said ordinances.
*The Coalition will be responsible for scheduling and overseeing all volunteers and staff.
*The Coalition will be responsible for providing foster homes and the adoption of the animals.
*The Coalition agrees to indemnify and keep harmless the City from all losses, damages, liabilities and expenses which may arise or be claimed against the City and be in favor of any person arising from the use or occupancy of said premises by the Coalition or arising from any acts, omissions, neglect or fault of Coalition, Coalition's agent, employees or invitees.
*The Coalition agrees to take out and maintains public liability insurance with a reputable insurance company against property damage, personal injury, or death arising out of the use or occupation of the leased premises. The City shall be named as co-insured on all such policies, and Coalition shall furnish the City with a certificate of said coverage. Such coverage shall not be decreased or canceled without 30 days' written notice to the City. All such policies shall be written as primary policies. This section shall not affect the indemnity or hold harmless provision in Section 17.
*The Coalition will collect all board, adoption, and impoundment fees and shall keep proper financial records to account for same. The Coalition will permit the City, at all reasonable times, to inspect and audit such records and shall make such reports of monies received as shall be required.
*The Coalition shall keep full and accurate records of all animals taken into custody and impounded, showing the date, place, reason, and manner whereby animals were brought into custody with a description of the animal and a record of its final disposition.
*The Coalition shall, in addition to the other duties outlined herein, be subject to call to rescue any injured animal or any animal or creature which is trapped, or is other unnaturally restrained and shall be responsible for providing humane treatment for same.
*The City hereby reserves the right to inspect the premises occupied by Coalition at any reasonable time.
*In the event the property is destroyed by fire or other acts of God or perils, the City is obligated to rebuild the building with the insurance proceeds, and, when rebuilt, this lease shall continue. Upon destruction or condemnation of all or a portion of the demised premises, the Coalition shall have the right, at its sole discretion, to stay at the premises or to cancel this agreement, on 30 days' written notice without any further liability.
*In the event of failure of the Coalition to perform the terms and provisions of this lease, same shall constitute a breach of this lease and shall give the City, at option, the right to declare this lease forfeited, without notice or demand, and to take possession of said property and to recover any damages sustained as a result thereof, and, likewise, a failure on the part of the City to perform the terms and provisions of this lease shall give the Coalition the right to declare this lease forfeited and vacate said property without liability resulting from such breach.
*The property herein leased and the contract herein is not to be subleased, sold, mortgaged, or assigned by the Coalition, except with the written consent of the City. However, the City shall not unreasonably withhold or delay such consent.
*This agreement is to be governed by the laws of the State of Tennessee, and it is mutually understood and agreed to by the parties hereto that the City will defend this contract with all due and proper diligence should it be challenged by any action in law.
*City covenants and agrees with the Coalition that upon Coalition observing and performing all the terms, covenants, and conditions herein that the Coalition may peaceably and quietly enjoy the premises hereby demised.
*All covenants, promises, and agreements herein contained shall be binding upon, apply, and inure to the benefit of the devisees and successors of the parties hereto.
*This agreement contains the entire contract and agreement of the parties hereto and is signed in duplicate by the authorized officials of each party, with each party holding an executed copy hereof.