It's likely that Sunset will rejoin Davis County Animal Care and Control this summer as part of a cost-cutting move by the city.
Sunset is the only city in Davis County that doesn't belong to the county-operated animal control system. Two other cities, North Salt Lake and Woods Cross, rejoined the system last July after operating their own animal control service for many years.Sunset City Manager Gail Hill said the city faced a crisis when formulating the budget for the fiscal year starting July 1, 1998. She said the city can save $23,697 a year by joining Davis Animal Control vs. continuing to operate its own system.
The City Council held a public hearing and afterward approved its proposed budget Tuesday. However, another public hearing on the final budget plan is set for June 16 and that's when the animal control change would be finalized.
Sunset would pay approximately $9,500 a year to rejoin Davis Animal Control, instead of the $33,200 it costs annually to operate its own animal control system. A changeover to the county would take place on July 1.
"We're losing $40,000 to $60,000 a year," Hill said because of the loss of the former Winegar's Supermarket.
The grocery store closed last December and moved to a new building in Clearfield. Hill is hopeful the vacant building will gain a new tenant, but there's nothing on the horizon yet.
Sunset residents have been pleased with their own animal control service. At Tuesday's public hearing, the only concerns expressed by residents involved a possible loss in service by converting to the county system.
"We feel we'll get good quality service," Hill said.
If the changeover is approved, residents would have to get used to calling Davis County for animal control, instead of the city.
Also, Hill said Sunset would lose one employee, Debbie Jensen, the only animal control officer it has ever had. At present, there are no other openings in the city for Jensen.
"We've been very pleased with her," Hill said.
Jensen started working for Sunset back in 1984 when it started its own animal control system. For a brief time, Sunset and Clinton shared animal control work, until Clinton rejoined the county system.
Davis Animal Control Director DeAnne Hess said she was contacted by Sunset City officials four months ago about rejoining the system.
She said Sunset will have to adopt the county's animal control ordinance too, before obtaining service.
Hill said that's just a formality. Sunset already uses the same regulations.