The fees, which are currently collected either when an animal is
adopted at the Logan County Animal Control facility or when the
animal is taken to the veterinarian for its rabies shots, go to
support costs of operating the facility.
The current interpretation of Illinois law puts the
responsibility on county government to provide animal control for
areas outside the boundaries of municipalities and to offer animal
control services to municipalities.
The Logan County facility is funded by registration and adoption
fees, fines for violations, and annual service contracts with
municipalities. Earlier this year, a $200 by-the-call fee was added
for going to municipalities without a contract.
In the 2010 budget, municipality contracts are expected to bring
The county is budgeted to supply $12,500 out of the general fund.
This is $500 over the amount paid in 2009. There is also $40,000
promised from the county buildings and grounds budget for new
kennels, which is part of the discussion below.
As board members discussed the issue, all agreed that maintaining
the facility and vehicles has been a struggle for many years.
Shortfalls in the local facility's operation have been subsidized by
the county's general fund for a number of recent years, which led to
a continually increasing negative fund balance. A number of board
members agreed this practice needed to stop.
In 2006 the accumulated losses at the facility were projected to
be $132,346 by the end of 2007. Two years ago the finance committee
began moving to "zero out" this negative fund balance along with
several other negative fund balances.
Gradual headway was made in reducing the negative fund balance,
but a $21,000 deficit was budgeted for the 2010 fiscal year, due to
bringing the facility up to par with adequate heating and cooling,
increased energy and fuel costs, and keeping vehicles operational.
Animal control chairman Gloria Luster brought forward the
committee's recommendation to increase animal registration fees as
Board member Terry Werth observed that for not spayed or
neutered, it's almost a 100 percent increase. "That's a pretty
excessive increase," he said. He also said that the amounts were not
in line with surrounding counties our size. (See other county
rates at right.)
Luster agreed and added that the biggest increase was in the
three-year fee for not spayed or neutered, but looking at all the
different fee levels, she said, "We are still lower than most (other
She added, "We've got to realize, that building can't run for
nothing." And she pointed out some of the expenses it takes: paying
people for working, vehicle costs, gas, facility costs. "Animal
control cannot run out there to pick up an animal for nothing," she
She pointed out that having an animal is a big responsibility.
When you have an animal, it's not any different from having a child.
You have different things that you have to take care of,
responsibility not only to take care of your animal, but to your
peers, she said, "and there are costs."
Werth asked what was being done to recoup some expense from the
towns that get services.
Luster said that the board voted to raise municipality fees,
including Lincoln's, with a three-year agreement that included
increases according to the consumer price index. "That is in its
second year," she said. She gave her word (to the municipalities) on
those and said she has one term left in the agreement. "If you want
to raise fees after that, it is entirely up to you," she said.
Pat O'Neill said that he was concerned with the hard economic
times and that this might lead to more animals being at the facility
and higher costs because people can't afford pets.
In response to Werth's comments about the high percentage rate of
the increases, finance chairman Chuck Ruben noted that without a
time frame on how much and how often those fees have been raised, it
doesn't mean anything. He said that those fees have not been raised
with any frequency and that if you look at an increase of 3 percent
a year, in 12 years the fees would be doubled.
[to top of second column]
New board member Kevin Bateman did not feel the increase was that
significant. Comparing the $4 increase that would be seen with the
one-year fee for spayed and neutered, which changes from $6 to $10,
he sees it as less than a penny a day. He didn't remember any
significant increase while owning his dog that's now 10 years old.
He added that he talked to his neighbors, "and they had no problem
with it whatsoever."
Werth held that the $14 increase for a non-spayed or non-neutered
animal nearly doubles that cost, as the $16 fee would go to $30.
John Stewart noted that this year money needed to be taken out of
the buildings and grounds budget to help pay for the kennels. He
acknowledged that there has always been a problem collecting the
annual registration fees, which support the facility's operation,
"so something's got to give to help pay for the building; one way or
another it has to be self-funded."
Luster said that collecting fees has been a big problem for many
years. It's difficult to do and many things have been tried. "The
court system is full, and they've even tried to go out and collect.
Nothing's worked," she said. The committee wrestled with the
amounts, going higher and lower, but were finally in agreement with
what was proposed, she added.
Based on the 2008 registrations, the fee increases would amount
to $31,102. Board chairman Terry Carlton said that based on what is
budgeted for the facility next year, this amount would make the
facility self-funded. This would be the first time in many years
that money would not have to be taken out of the general fund for
The fee increases passed 8-1-1. Voting yes were Rick Ayleswerth,
Kevin Bateman, Terry Carlton, Bob Farmer, Dave Hepler, Bill Martin,
Chuck Ruben and John Stewart. Voting no was Terry Werth, and Pat
O'Neill abstained. Jan Schumacher was absent.
Surrounding county animal registration fees (S/N: spayed or
1 year, $11
1 year S/N, $9
3 years, $25
3 years S/N, $19
1 year, $30
1 year S/N, $12
3 years, $90
3 years S/N, $36
1 year, $17
1 year S/N, $7
3 years, $48
3 years S/N, $18
1 year, $20
1 year S/N, $9
3 years, $60
3 years S/N, $26
1 year, $20
1 year S/N, $10
3 years, $30
3 years S/N, $20
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