Cities opt for regional animal services

Twenty-seven cities have signed letters of intent to join a collaborative new approach for the provision of animal services, enabling King County Executive Dow Constantine to deliver a comprehensive package to the King County Council for implementation of a new regional model for animal care, control, and licensing.
"With this new regional model the county and cities can provide better public health and safety, animal welfare and customer service, at a lower cost than cities could provide on their own," said Constantine. "At the same time we will continue to work on reforms that earn the respect of the community and lead to innovative partnerships that will reduce futurecosts."
Constantine transmitted a "Roadmap for Reform" to address remaining areas for improvement in animal services; legislation containing the proposed contract with the cities; a proposed ordinance to make a variety of code changes to restructure license fees and enable public-private partnerships in support of the new model; and a supplemental budget request for $3.2 million, backed by $2.5 million in revenue, to implement the new model in the second half of this year and for other related costs.
Twenty-seven of the 34 original contracting cities have indicated interest in participating in the regional model through interlocal agreements lasting two-and-a-half years. If a critical mass of those cities follow through to sign contracts and the County Council approves, the new Regional Animal Services of King County would be implemented starting July 1.
"This regional model provides a cost-effective way to ensure that our residents can get the animal services they need, while giving us time to work with King County on creating some new partnerships and revenue opportunities that will further reduce our costs," said Redmond Mayor John Marchione.
Cities that have historically received all animal control services from King County but have elected not to opt-in going forward are Federal Way, Burien, Algona, Pacific, and Hunts Point. Bothell has indicated it would like to participate for six months. Newcastle previously contracted only for sheltering and control and has indicated interest in now contracting for licensing as well. Seattle will continue to administer its own animal services and shelter.
The county has distributed cost estimates to participating cities that are based on the number of cities that have signed letters of intent; the more cities that participate, the lower the cost for each city. Total revenue from pet license sales in each city will be credited back to the amount each city would pay for services.[[In-content Ad]]