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Proposed City Animal Control Facility Could Cost Villages Thousands More

Countryside Humane Society is getting out of the animal control business and the City of Racine is proposing a $6 million facility to take its place.

The City of Racine is proposing a $6 million facility to house and administer an animal control department after Countryside Humane Society contracts expire at the end of 2012.

According Mount Pleasant Village President Carolyn Milkie and Sturtevant Village President Steve Jansen, city health department officials want county-wide buy in for a new building that would become the new animal control center.

As reported by FOX 6 News, Countryside is getting out of the animal control business but has so far not issued a statement about the reasons behind the move. The organization will instead concentrate on housing surrendered animals and adoptions.

Still, Milkie said this proposal and its associated increased costs couldn't come at a worse time.

"Our costs would increase by over $100,000 a year," she said. "Where would we get the money?"

Mount Pleasant currently pays Countryside about $25,000 a year for animal control services. Under the city's plan, that figure rises to about $126,000.

Jansen agreed.

"Of course we have to see the plans, but no one has money for this plan," he said. "The costs would be so far above what we pay Countryside, that I just don't see it flying in Sturtevant."

Animal control services will be discussed at the Aug. 9 Sturtevant Committee meeting.

Milkie is going to talk with the director of Countryside to be sure her village is set for services through 2012. After she has that conversation, the issue will go to committee, most likely the Finance/Legal/License because the situation deals with contracts.

When the meeting was called for July 27, Milkie said she was under the impression things were still very much on the exploratory level and felt blindsided by how quickly the city was moving.

"All of a sudden we're being asked to sign on within 30 days when this item has never been before our boards," she said.

Milkie said the city's plan does not include adoptions, but would instead have animal control employees answer calls, pick up animals, give legal notice that an animal is at the facility and then, if the animal is not claimed in seven days, move the animal to another organization for placement.

The city's plan, she added, would also not include spaying or neutering services or vaccination clinics.

Patch has a message into the city's health department about their proposal. It was after hours when we got this information and no one was available to answer questions.

Editor's Note: In a previous version of this story, we incorrectly stated that someone from the City of Racine would attend the Aug. 9 Sturtevant Committee meeting. We regret the error.

Pete Selkowe August 03, 2011 at 05:37 AM
I love this! Racine City Council members were upset with Countryside's $192,000 per year charge; now they propose to spend $550,000 a year! Plus the upfront cost of a $6 million facility. Even my dog knows this is a dumb move.
Heather Asiyanbi (Editor) August 03, 2011 at 02:18 PM
I'm confused about why so much is needed when they're only offering the most basic of animal control services; namely, collection and holding. And why in the world would they try and sell this concept now in this economy?!
Chris Larsen August 03, 2011 at 02:26 PM
I have an issue with the very short timeframe. This seems like a ram job by the city.
Chris Larsen August 03, 2011 at 02:27 PM
And the cost as well...
Chris Wright August 03, 2011 at 02:50 PM
Sturtevant's cost would increase from just over $5,000 per year to $40,000.
Daryl Lynaugh August 03, 2011 at 05:13 PM
Time for a whole new approach to this problem. Daryl Lynaugh

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