Debate Continues Over Animal Control In Salem
After Monday night's city council meeting, City Manager Bill Gruen said he would see if Jefferson County would accept less than a three year contract to house Salem's dogs. At the same time, he will further investigating the cost of constructing a new building for an animal pound in Salem. While the initial cost of operating the dog pound locally is much higher, after the building is paid off the cost differential becomes just $10,000 a year.
With that small of difference, Councilman Dave Black would like to look at a local shelter. "I'd almost rather see us in control of things, that way we could take care of our own mess if you will. We'd have our own building and our own facility. Just throwing out ideas and thoughts," said Black.
Council woman Sue Morgan just wants a decision. "I feel like we have to make a decision. This has been going on and on and on. Do we want to do it with Salem or do we want to do it with Jefferson County. If we want to do it in Salem then we can determine how we are going to do it. But I think the people of Salem deserve a decision," said Morgan.
The city manager estimates the cost of providing animal control services using the Jefferson County facility would be $63,000 a year. The initial cost of providing the service with an animal pound run by the city of Salem would initially be $110,000 a year. But that amount would be reduced to $74,000 a year once the building and equipment purchases for the pound are paid off.
Gruen will bring his findings on a new building as well as what type of contract Jefferson County is willing to accept to the next meeting. Until a permanent solution is found, Gruen says Jefferson County has been willing to take Salem's vicious dogs on a space available basis.
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