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One shelter offers proposal for Wausau-Weston cat care problem

A cat up for adoption at the Marathon County Humane Society
A cat up for adoption at the Marathon County Humane Society

WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAU) -- Efforts to get competitive bids for handling stray cat issues in Wausau and the Weston areas only landed one bid. Wausau City Council President Lisa Rasmussen says the Board of Public Works opened the one and only bid Tuesday. She says this proposal is about $50,000 less expensive than a previous quote.  “There is one proposal that has come in, well under the price of the original contracts. As I understand, the bidder was the Marathon County Humane Society, and that contract was in the neighborhood of $30,000, so that is far less than the $80,000 we saw in the original contract.”

Rasmussen says the lower bid is appropriate, since Wausau doesn’t have as many cats going to the shelter as the humane society believed.  “When they first brought us the contracts, they estimated that the Wausau area was bringing in 400 cats. Our records seem to indicate differently, and so we requested a proposal for far less cats based on what we believe our actual shelter usage will be.”

Rasmussen says this contract is for just the city of Wausau and the Weston area served by the Everest Metro Police Department. Other municipalities will have to negotiate their own animal care contracts. That’s why Rasmussen says it’s important to know exactly where the animals come from when they arrive at the shelter.  “Previously, it was my understanding that Wausau cats were identified by zip code, and there’s a number of zip codes that have Wausau addresses that aren’t necessarily paying tax in the city, and we need to delineate where those cats are coming from at intake, so we can have our numbers correct for the contract price.”

The proposal from the Humane Society of Marathon County will be discussed at a special Finance Committee meeting next week. Rasmussen says if approved by the committee, the full city council could vote on it March 25th, and then they could apply for the partial funding offered by Marathon County to offset some of the cost.

(Our interview with Council President Lisa Rasmussen can be heard on our website, here.)