When a dog gets loose and poses a threat to Kodiak residents, animal control is the service they call. Animal control also covers vaccine enforcement and responds to reports of abuse.
The Kodiak Island Borough contracts with the City of Kodiak to provide those services and pays for its part of the agreement.
Last week at its regular meeting, the borough assembly considered the one-year renewal of that contract. A question of cost arose.
The borough’s part of the new contract would come with a price tag of roughly $114,000.
Assemblyman Dennis Symmons suggested an amendment to reduce the contract by $55,000.
“We have got to start taking – especially in the times that we’re starting to receive and the fact that the money’s not there anymore – we have got to take the responsibility, not only of our animals, but of our trash, of the people in this community who are not obeying the rules. We have to step up, do our part. If it means taking an animal out, so be it.”
Assemblyman Matt Van Daele said he would be voting no on the amendment and referred to an incident he and his family had with an aggressive dog.
“Even before recent personal experience, I’d be completely opposed to this amendment because this is an essential health and safety issue for our community, and that’s for both humans and animals alike. And it’s essential for maintaining the fabric of a community where we do have a lot of pets, we do have a lot of wildlife.”
In the end, only Symmons voted yes on the amendment, but other assembly members agreed the contract could use another look before the next fiscal year to see if they could cut costs.
Assemblyman Kyle Crow introduced the concept of service areas paying for their own animal control.
“If the service areas were bearing that cost for the service in their area, they’re gonna take much more of an interest in the animals in their area. They’ve got skin in the game, and if there’s a problem and it’s costing ‘em more money, then I guess they’re gonna get amongst themselves and talk about alleviating that problem or continue paying a higher price for animal control.”
As it stands, the borough is complying with the city’s animal control standards.
Borough manager Michael Powers said the city hasn’t provided an alternative option to their current partnership. However, he said the city might be willing to make changes in the future.