COLLIER COMMISSION BLOG: Collier agrees today to find way to not cut animal services

EDC WON'T FACE MAJOR CUTS

They're not entirely sure how they're going to accomplish it, but the Collier County Commission agreed today to preserve $400,000 in contributions to the Economic Development Council of Collier County.

Facing serious financial shortfalls, that line item was not in the commission's budget for the upcoming year. Business leaders turned out today to convince commissioners of the EDC's importance.

ANIMAL SERVICES TO AVOID MAJOR CUTS

Observing a roomful of residents wearing "No 15 percent Cut for DAS" -- meaning Domestic Animal Services -- Collier County commissioners agreed today to find a way to preserve the current program in its entirety.

Chairwoman Donna Fiala asked the audience how many folks voted to reduce taxes last year.

Few people raised their hands.

Commissioner Fred Coyle said "C'mon. Raise your hands. You know you all did."

Fiala asked if residents would mind paying a little -- incrementally -- more to keep services in place and asked them to raise their hands if they would be so willing. Most of the room did.

Coyle suggested that the county keep the DAS budget at the tax neutral level.

Generally speaking, commissioners do not make promises at these budget meetings. They will not even set their maximum tax rate until late July. But, in this particular case, residents were so vocal and motivated, that commissioners felt compelled to address the issue today.

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