The city of Spokane Valley is getting close to inking a deal with SCRAPS for animal control – and is prepared to go forward with or without the city of Spokane.
Still, there are a few niggling details that must be worked out before a contract receives final approval by the City Council.
Spokane Valley has contracted with Spokane County Regional
Animal Control Service since incorporation in 2003.
At Tuesday night’s study session, Morgan Koudelka, senior administrative analyst, walked council members through the proposed 20-year pact, which proposes that – if a new, much-needed animal shelter is purchased – that if the county terminates the agreement prior to the expiration of the useful life of the facility, the county would refund the city’s unused portion of debt service costs and no depreciation or building use fees would be charged to the city.
Annual debt service costs will be $45,000 over the course of the contract. Operating cost in 2014 is set at $242,081, and subsequent costs would be determined by county commissioners based on the recommendation from a newly formed Regional Animal Control Advisory Board.
While county officials have yet to sign off on the deal, they have agreed to make sure Spokane Valley’s costs remain the same whether the city of Spokane agrees or disagrees to join in a regional partnership for animal control.
Mayor Tom Towey was not present for Tuesday’s meeting, but on Monday stated, “I think we’ve got a good contract that would benefit the citizens.”
In September, the council agreed to pursue the long-term partnership with SCRAPS after looking at other options, including contracting with the city of Spokane’s current animal-control provider, SpokAnimal.
Koudelka said that he believes Spokane is close to making a decision on animal control for future years, but Spokane Valley will be OK financially if its neighbor to the west sticks with its current contractor.
“We think it will work with or without Spokane,” he said.
Council Member Arne Woodard asked whether services provided by SCRAPS would increase or decrease under the new contract.
Koudelka said hours would be expanded to seven days a week. He added that, if Spokane also joins the regional partnership, donations and added pet licenses could help drive future costs down.
“There are potential benefits,” he said.
Council members agreed they are ready to sign a contract, if county officials agree.
“I think we need to move forward,” said Council Member Dean Grafos.