At least the way city officials tally the numbers, the total cost of operating Evanston's animal shelter is less now than it was when the shelter was run by a non-profit group.
In a budget memo prepared for tonight's City Council meeting, officials estimate that the city will spend about $25,000 on the animal shelter this year, and they're proposing a budget of $35,000 for next year.
By contrast, in 2012, the last year for which financial records are available from the Community Animal Rescue Effort, the former non-profit shelter operator, CARE reported spending just over $40,000 on shelter operations, while the city spent nearly $15,000.
None of those numbers include the cost of the city's animal control wardens, who are included in the police department budget.
Both the city and CARE have also relied on volunteers to help take care of animals at the shelter.
The city is also asking for donations to help fund shelter operations. So far those have totaled only about $2,500 — but the city has drafted a letter to be provided to donors assuring them that any donations to the city are tax deductible, in hopes that will encourage more gifts.
Donations are being held in a separate animal shelter account within the city's general fund.