The Tuesday, July 16 session of the Horn Lake Board of Aldermen began with the board being officially returned to a group of seven, followed by recognition of Animal Shelter volunteers and a discussion of animal adoption fees for pets leaving the shelter. 

Jackie Bostick was sworn into office by Mayor Allen Latimer at the beginning of Tuesday’s regular meeting. Bostick had earlier won election to the post over Linda McGan to represent Ward 3, left without representation when Tim Smith resigned from the seat in April.

Bostick won election over McGan in a run-off vote after a special election whittled the candidates down from an initial roster of four people seeking to fill out the rest of Smith’s term on the board.

In accepting the congratulations of those attending Tuesday’s meeting, Bostick pointed out the “clean” campaign between the candidates. He added the ward was also without a representative from Ward 3 on the City Planning Commission and he had asked McGan to fill that spot on the commission, which McGan has agreed to do.

Board members proceeded in their agenda to recognize volunteers that have assisted the Horn Lake Animal Shelter in the shelter’s operations and also recognized interim director Nina Wingfield, who has operated the shelter while the city searches for a permanent director.

Wingfield accepts only one dollar a month for her work, asking that the rest of what would be her salary be placed toward the shelter. Wingfield is the retired director of the Collierville Animal Shelter in Collierville, Tennessee.

Later in the meeting, Wingfield explained a plan to raise adoption fees for animals being taken from the shelter from $20 to $50. Aldermen Michael Guice and John Jones Jr. presented the plan, which passed in a 6-0-1 vote, despite questions from Latimer.

Alderman Charlie Roberts was not at Tuesday’s meeting and the remaining six aldermen voted in favor of the plan. Latimer’s thoughts were that an increase in adoption fees may result in more dogs and cats being left at the shelter. He felt some residents may decide not to adopt because of the cost.

Wingfield replied that the higher fees may end up being more beneficial. She cited that the shots and other health needs of the animals would be better covered with the additional money.

“We also hope to eliminate parasites from the animals and the higher fee would help make that happen,” Wingfield said.

The motion that was approved by the board Tuesday would also drop the surrender fee and set the hours for adopting pets from noon-3 p.m. Jones’ motion would also have Wingfield inform the city of any special reduced fee events she may wish to have before they take place.

In other action, the board agreed to provide $9,000 from city tourism tax dollars to go to the House of Grace, on the provision that all of the communities and counties that give to the women’s domestic violence safe home also contribute.

A set amount to the communities and counties, including DeSoto County, that have women from their areas housed with the Southaven-based nonprofit, was determined through a formula to help fund the program. It was determined based on clients that Horn Lake’s contribution would be $9,000, which will be donated only if the remaining entities also provide their share.

“It’s 100 percent or nothing from all entities it represents,” said Alderman-at-Large Donnie “Chigger” White, who made the motion.

Two planning department requests, for a conditional use permit that would allow an EMS facility to operate at a location on Goodman Road West and a final plat approval for the Delta Tech Park Subdivision at 6530 Interstate Blvd. were also approved.

Bob Bakken is Managing Editor for the DeSoto Times-Tribune.

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