Friday, Sept. 29

City wrestles restless topics      Send a link to a friend

Animal control contract revisited

[SEPT. 29, 2006]  Aldermen took a few minutes to review a request from the county that would increase the animal control fee the city pays for service. City sanitation chairman Melody Anderson received information that the county would like to raise Lincoln's fee 58 percent.

County animal control chairman Vickie Hasprey cited numerous reasons for the increase when she visited the city sanitation committee a few weeks ago. Funds are needed for truck and cage replacements as well as building improvements.

Anderson said she looked again at the county cost and expense figures for the facility, particularly from August to November, "They still look good for this year," she said.

"Does it solve their problem? No," she said.

The urgency is on the county as they are making up their fiscal year budget, Anderson said. She noted that the city's contract is not up until May of 2007.

Anderson passed out spreadsheets and said that the last time the county budget shows they actually allocated money to the animal control budget was in the 1999-2000 fiscal year. She said she did see that there was a projected accumulation of negative $62,000 for the 2004-2005 fiscal year, but that figure could come in even higher. The county will not know what it was until their audit is returned. Anderson didn't know how they dealt with the loss that is shown each year since 1999.

Anderson said she had contacted Hasprey to say that they understood the figures and that it would be very difficult for the council to accept any kind of an increase without some justification on the county's part to show that they're putting in money to subsidize it as well.

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The city treasurer, Les Plotner, questioned what the county's negative budget figures meant. He asked, "Who's making up the money [the loss difference]?"

"I don't know, but they'd like to balance it on our back," Anderson said.

City attorney Bill Bates said he thought that what the council needs to be prepared for is that the county is looking at the state statutes, trying find an interpretation where they don't have to provide services for municipalities.

Anderson suggested that this should then be something the city should be thinking about in the next couple of months, so that, come April, they can review their options.

[Jan Youngquist]

City wrestles restless topics


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