UNICOI, Tenn. (WJHL) – The Town of Unicoi Board of Mayor and Aldermen recently announced a proposed budget cut. The budget cut would decrease the animal shelter’s funding from $45,000 to $30,000 for the upcoming fiscal year.

Pam Harris, the director of the Unicoi County Animal Shelter, said the shelter already runs on a tight budget, and she is not sure how they will manage the $15,000 potential budget cut.

“It’s going to affect us majorly because we are doing our best to do a lot of repairs here, and we’re trying to update cat cages that are in the back, they’re very rusted and broken,” said Harris. “They need to be gone, they’re not safe for the animals.”

The budget cut has not been finalized, but alderman Kevin McInturff said one of the reasons for the potential change is town efforts to “overbudget” for other needs in the town.

“Everything we can just cut a little bit helps us,” said McInturff. “As far as, you know, maintaining our roads and just taking care of the things that we need to do.

McInturff also said that the Town of Unicoi works just on sales taxes.

“Our property taxes go to the county,” said McInturff. “That’s what our concern is.”

The next Board of Mayor and Alderman meeting for the town is set for Monday, April 17 at 5:30 p.m. Harris said she will be at the meeting to voice her concerns.

“We just hope that they further discuss how important the shelter is to the community,” said Harris. “We have spayed, neutered and vaccinated over 515 animals since July 1.”

McInturff said he also encourages the public to attend the meeting.

“I appreciate people and their input because that’s what we need to do,” said McInturff. “We need to get involved.”