Jefferson County mulls transferring oversight of Dog Control to...

Updated: Jan. 6, 2020 at 1:46 PM EST
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WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - Jefferson County is considering transferring oversight of Dog Control to the Fire and Emergency Management Office.

With the director of Dog Control, Todd Cummings, officially leaving the job later this month after almost 36 years, county lawmakers might transfer oversight of the department to Joe Plummer, director of Fire and Emergency Management. To the general public, that may not make sense, but to County Administrator Robert Hagemann, it's a good fit.

"Somebody calls in has a concern, likely they're calling in to dispatch and then it gets passed on. So there's already a very clear knowledge and working relationship between the two parties that way," said Hagemann.

Hagemann says the move won't change the day to day operations or the duties of the 5 dog control employees. Instead, he says it will add additional oversight and could save the 15 towns that contract with county dog control more than $20,000, by eliminating the dog control director's job, and replacing him with a lower salaried officer's position.

"We've been looking at ways to hit the bottom line in terms of savings and we've been very successful in that regards. This just is another mechanism to accomplish that same task," said Hagemann.

County Legislator Anthony Doldo thinks the change is a good idea. He says he'd like to see the savings go towards improvements to the dog control facility.

"If the towns would agree to it maybe we can do small improvements to the facility without costing them any more in an increase to dog control but actually turning around and sprucing it up and doing what we need to do to maintain it instead of going for a big capital project down the road. But that's something that we have to look into and see how dog control goes throughout the year," said Doldo (R. - District 15).

The Board of Legislators will vote on the change Tuesday night. If it passes, Dog Control would be transferred to the Fire and Emergency Management Office on January 19.

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