County Council approves new animal services model

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The King County Council recently approved the creation of a collaborative regional animal services program that spreads the cost of animal control, sheltering and licensing between 27 suburban cities and King County’s unincorporated communities.

“This is a sustainable model that makes sense for the County and cities, and is in the best interests of the animals in our care,” said Council Chair Bob Ferguson. “I commend Executive Constantine for his leadership on this complex issue.”

“This legislation is a fair and equitable solution and the King County Council did the right thing by approving it today,” said Lake Forest Park Mayor Dave Hutchinson. The Lake Forest Park City Council recently passed a resolution authorizing Mayor Hutchinson to sign an agreement with King County for animal control services.

The Shoreline City Council will address whether to continue its animal services contract with King County at its June 28 council meeting.

The agreement divides the County into four geographical areas for control services:
  • Bothell, Carnation, Duvall, Kenmore, Kirkland, Lake Forest Park, Redmond, Sammamish, Shoreline, and Woodinville.
  • Beaux Arts, Bellevue, Clyde Hill, Issaquah, Mercer Island, Newcastle, North Bend, Snoqualmie, and Yarrow Point.
  • Kent, SeaTac, and Tukwila.
  • Auburn, Black Diamond, Covington, Enumclaw, and Maple Valley.

As the local government provider, King County will continue to be responsible for the provision of services in the unincorporated areas of the county.

Each region will have a dedicated field officer, and will be overseen by a field sergeant. Additional assistance would be provided by an animal cruelty sergeant to investigate cruelty cases and two officers on call after regular service hours for emergency response.

The adopted legislation also approves an interlocal agreement between cities and King County. Twenty-seven cities have signed letters of intent to adopt the agreement, which defines services, expenditures, cost allocation methodologies and establishes a city-county committee to pursue innovative service improvements and cost reductions.

Cities can choose either a 6-month contract, which ends in December 2010, or a contract that expires in December 2012. The current contracts with the cities expire June 30, 2010. The interlocal agreement allows for continuity of services over the length of the contract.

The legislation also includes revenue generating opportunities that involve the public and regional businesses:

  • It encourages citizen involvement with its call for the creation of an Animal Bequest Fund, which will provide an avenue for county residents to support animal services through donations. The fund could only be used for animal services and would be managed by the director of the Department of Executive Services.

  • It also authorizes the Director of the Department of Executive Services to explore entrepreneurial opportunities. The County will investigate opportunities to enter into concession, advertising, sponsorship, and naming rights agreements with vendors to sell animal-related products and services. Proceeds would be applied to regional animal services.

You can read the legislation here (type in “2010-0325,” “2010-0326” or “2010-0327”). 

--From the office of King County Council Chair Bob Ferguson (representing Shoreline & LFP)
 

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