The Haines Borough Finance Committee this week recommended the assembly fund the Haines Animal Rescue Kennel animal control contract at $45,250 using savings from the townsite service area fund.

The recommendation would mean using $29,050 from the townsite service area’s roughly $1.3 million fund balance to bridge the gap between manager David Sosa’s proposed funding level of $16,200 and the $45,250 level, which is closer to what HARK has received in the past.

The $1.3 million fund balance represents 119 percent of the townsite’s operating budget, or about a 14-month reserve. A general rule of thumb followed by many municipalities, and often cited by Haines Borough officials, is maintaining reserves at the six-month level.

Finance committee chair Joanne Waterman made the motion, and said she would support taking the money out of the fund balance “just this one time.” Waterman said she would like to see the borough work with HARK to determine how much of the contract actually goes toward animal control in the townsite, and how the nonprofit might raise funds in other ways, like increasing fees.

If the assembly approves the recommendation and amends the budget to include $45,250 for HARK, that doesn’t necessarily mean the organization will receive that much money. That figure will still be determined in contract negotiations between HARK, the police chief and Sosa. The $45,250 just sets the upper limit of the contract amount.

The assembly will consider the recommendation Tuesday.