City Lawmakers Lean Toward 5-Year Dog Control Deal

City Lawmakers Lean Toward 5-Year Dog Control Deal

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No matter how long a dog control deal with Jefferson County is, Watertown city officials say they want a way to keep exploring options to make the service less expensive for taxpayers.

At Monday night's meeting, the city council decided that a five-year agreement -- with a chance to opt out with six months notice -- would do the trick.

"This will allow us to do things differently if agreed upon with the city and the towns," Mayor Joe Butler said, "and yet we'll have dog control as it is today continuing January 1st."

"I don't have a problem with it being a five-year deal because we're still going to need dog control in five years," council member Ryan Henry-Wilkinson said.

Jefferson County's dog control serves the city of Watertown and 15 towns in the county. The city's bill for it jumps from $110,000 to $160,000. 

City Manager Rick Finn had proposed the city ask the county for a one-year contract -- instead of five years -- which would give city officials a chance to look into whether they can find a cheaper way to provide the service.

Finn says the city has no intention of leaving the other towns in the county behind to go on it's own.

"I do think it's worth looking at as to other ways to accomplish the same type of things at a lower cost," Finn said.

Butler says just because the city could opt out, it doesn't mean it will.

"We're not going to provide notification without a plan," he said, "so if we were going to go in a different direction, that would take months to assemble."

Council members are looking to have an official vote at a meeting later in the month. 

The county would also have to approve the deal.

Meanwhile at a special meeting Monday night, Pamelia Town Supervisor Scott Allen said the town signed an agreement with the county for a five year deal for dog control. 

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