Niagara Gazette

Local News

December 8, 2013

Niagara Falls City Council to consider hike to SPCA contract

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — Dyster said it has become clear the SPCA can no longer provide dog control services to the city and his administration has started looking at options for a shelter. They are trying to decide whether it will be more cost effective to build new or renovate an empty building.

“We’re trying to gear up to be able to take over that function in one way, shape or form,” the mayor said.

The city may contract out for the service, but would still need to provide a facility for the operators.

“No such organization is going to be so profitable that it’s going to be able to make the debt payments on a capital project to get it started,” Dyster added.

Even after the city takes over the dog control responsibilities it will continue to rely on the SPCA to provide other services — like pet owner education — to city residents.

“There’s parts of their core mission that we desperately need,” Dyster said.

In particular, the mayor said educating pet owners and spaying and neutering city animals will help to keep animal control costs down.

“We’re increasingly going to have to go out there and do the enforcement necessary to make certain that there are not irresponsible things being done by people who are then putting the bills onto everybody else,” Dyster said.

The council will also consider;

• A measure that would implement a debt management policy to provide official guidelines for borrowing and repayment for the city.

• Approval of the sale of 617 Walnut Ave. to Housing Visions Inc., a Syracuse not-for-profit that is planning a housing project downtown. The council has already approved the sale of several other properties for the project.

• A measure from the human resources department requesting $33,437 in funding for the second phase of a document management program that will digitize the department’s forms.

BIG RED NUMBER $18K Expected increase in Falls' annual contract with the SPCA of Niagara

Contact reporter Justin Sondel at 282-2311, ext. 2257

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