FARMINGTON — The battle between the city of Farmington and the Humane Society of the Four Corners over eight feral cats at city's Municipal Operations Center is coming to an end.

The humane society Board members reached a tentative agreement with the city on Tuesday.

Both parties seem hopeful that the agreement will lead to a formal Memorandum of Understanding to address the many feral cat colonies on city property and avoid future incidents of cat trapping and euthanasia.

"We've tentatively come up with an agreement," said Assistant City Manager Bob Campbell. "I think sitting down and putting our heads together, we've come up with a solution."

Humane Society of the Four Corners Board Members Summer Jakino-Creech (President), Leslie Jedrey, Traci Fletcher and Trap, Neuter and Release program representative Kristin Langenfeld met with Mayor Tommy Roberts, City Manager Rob Mayes and Campbell on Oct. 23 to discuss the issues regarding the long term care of the feral cat colony.

"The city of Farmington showed real concern of the issues that were brought up and reassured (us) that these issues would be addressed," Fletcher said.

The city and humane society agreed that the colony could be moved outside the city's complex and still be secure and cared for, Fletcher said.

Humane society personnel are tasked with providing spay and neuter services for the cats under its Trap, Neuter and Release program. This program allows the city and humane society to regulate the colony's size in a humane manner.

Debate about the cat colony surfaced at the Oct. 9 City Council meeting after humane society board members arrived and demanded to know why the city was keeping the cats from being fed.

The city and the humane society had entered into an agreement to trap, neuter and release the cats in January 2012.

Designated caretakers were allowed to feed the cats and provide water; however, caretakers were ordered to stop the feeding after complaints that the cat food was attracting unwanted wildlife to the facility.

For a few days, it appeared that the city's agreement with the humane society had fallen apart.

"One of the problems was that there was no clear, direct route (out of the facility)," Campbell said. "We weren't having good communication and didn't realize the problems (the humane society was) having."

After the Tuesday meeting, it seems there is progress. The two groups plan to begin moving the feeding station outside of the Municipal Operations Center complex the week of Nov. 5.

The new trap, neuter and release program should take approximately 4 weeks to complete, Roberts said.

"It was a very cordial, productive meeting, and I feel hopeful about the outcome," he said.