It’s been six months since animal control service returned to the borough’s road system. During Tuesday’s work session the borough assembly heard from Community Development Director Bob Pederson about some animal control numbers the borough recently received from the city.
“And if you look at the numbers, 2-1, the calls in the city versus the borough. Which I think surprised us a little bit. We figured there might be some pent up demand for animal control in the borough because the contract wasn’t in place there up until November.”
Pederson said based on the annual contract cost, the animal service is actually costing the borough around $760 per call. The cost was derived by dividing the contract in half to account for the six months it’s been in place, and then dividing that number by the number of calls.
“Assuming that the borough is paying for half of the animal control service, there’s two employees that do it I’m told, the average cost in the city would be $355 per call. So we’ve reached out to the city and wanted to confirm that cost split. I’m not sure quite how that was structured and the contract isn’t clear on that, it’s a lump sum amount. So if we are splitting the cost of the program I think we should have a discussion with the city about cost split.”
Assemblywoman Carol Austerman asked that the borough look into the previous animal control contract it shared with the city to see how the cost splitting was done, especially if majority of the calls were made from city limits. Assemblyman Frank Peterson said more information on the calls placed in the last six months would also be helpful, because if enforcement officers had to drive out to Chiniak or impound horses, then the borough’s cost ratio would seem reasonable.
Development Director Pederson also brought up the impound fees for animals as something that needs to be addressed and possibly changed.
“If they have to board the dog when it’s impounded, I think they’re charging like $5 a day. Now when I board my dogs it’s $20 a day in the private market, and some people pay more than that. So that’s another aspect of it we need to look at. So there’s some homework to be done here and I think the suggestion of looking back at the old contract to the extent those statistics are available would be a good thing.”
Borough Manager Bud Cassidy said it would be good to dial in on those details soon, especially as the borough gears up for working on the fiscal year 2015 budget in the near future.