Only one of the 12 cities that contracts with Davis County has balked at signing a new animal control agreement. Kaysville decided last week to table the contract although it ran out Jan. 31.
Nine cities have renewed their contracts and two more, Layton and Clearfield, have expressed their intent to renew, animal control director DeAnne Hess said.The county commission Monday approved the renewals of Bountiful, West Bountiful, Clinton, Farmington, Fruit Heights, West Point, Syracuse, Centerville, and South Weber.
The county provides animal control services to those cities on a sliding fee scale, based on the number of requests for service generated within the city. Three cities - Sunset, North Salt Lake, and Woods Cross - provide their own animal control officers but use the county-funded shelter in Fruit Heights to impound animals.
In a budget move in 1989, the county announced it would no longer fully fund the animal control department, telling cities they would have to provide their own field officers.
A compromise was reached in which the county continues to fund the shelter operation and provides field officers to answer calls from each city. The city's share of the cost is determined by the number of calls generated in a year.
Commission chairman Gayle Stevenson noted Monday that the county still provides about half the animal control department's total budget, totaling $350,000 for 1991.
In addition to providing field officers on contract to the cities, the county provides service to Hill Air Force Base and the unincorporated areas of Davis County.
After meeting with Hess for more than an hour before their meeting last week, Kaysville's council members decided they weren't happy with the $14,000 assessed to their city for the coming year.
Charging taxpayers for the service through their property tax and then assessing the city for an additional amount is double taxation, councilman Douglas Stanger said.
He also questioned some of the figures Hess used in determining the cost to the city, saying they appear to be arbitrary. The council voted to table the contract until they can meet with a county commissioner.
Another city unhappy with the situation but that signed the contract is Fruit Heights, which was assessed $6,000. Councilmembers indicated they thought last year's contract was a one-time assessment and that the county would return to providing the service at no cost in 1991.
Another problem the cities have expressed concern about is the Jan. 31 date of the contract's renewal. That may be near the beginning of the county's fiscal year, which starts Jan. 1, but it's in the middle of the fiscal year for cities, which runs July 1-June 30.
It's hard to budget money for animal control services in June when you don't know how much the bill might be until six months later, Stanger said.
Both Kaysville, if it eventually approves the new contract, and Fruit Heights will have to reopen their current budgets, hold a public hearing, and transfer funds to cover the contracts.
A third concern raised by the Kaysville council is the lack of control that cities have over the animal control department, even though it is run with some of their city money.
Mayor Brit Howard suggested that instead of a contract, an interlocal agreement with a governing board made up of city and county officials might be more appropriate to oversee the department's operation.