FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – It’s the season of giving. So how about donating some money to your local city government?
One North Texas city is asking the public to chip in to help with projects it can’t afford.
Stagnant tax revenues have forced deep cuts in Fort Worth’s budgets. So, budget planners are hoping the gift of giving gives a boost to some back burner projects and Fort Worth Animal Control will be the guinea pig for the idea.
“We have over 20,000 animals come into our shelter every year,” said Scott Hanlan, assistant director of Ffort Worth Code Compliance. “And we are constantly looking for new ways to find happy endings for every one of those animals.”
Fort Worth pays for basic public safety issues with animal control: pick-up of strays, short term housing, etc. But, animal control wants to build a medical center to isolate and treat animals so it can euthanize fewer pets and keep infectious illnesses from spreading in the kennel and harming other animals.
“And those dollars just really aren’t there in the tax base,” Hanlan said. “So what we’re trying to do is get charitable contributions for our animal welfare projects.”
Animal control is the first city agency to ask for public donations on line.
It’s the same public/private concept that led to adoption clinics in petsmart stores. Except this time the city is asking individuals to chip in money as well as corporations.
“You can actually see when you come in here, you can actually see where the money is going to,” said Latreva Boyd who was adopting a dog at the Petsmart adoption center on Hulen. “I think its wonderful. So, no I wouldn’t mind at all.”
If the animal control donation drive is succesful, Fort Worth may be asking for donations for parks, libraries or other projects in the future. Remember the city pools that could not be rebuilt without private help? City leaders say that may become a much more common practice in this economy.
“The reality of it is we’d have to raise taxes which we don’t want to do, nobody wants to do.” Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price said. “So, you have to go back to the basics — street, water, code , transportation issues — and then the other items are things people can help us with.”
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