One Year Contract for County Dog Control, Watertown City Manager

One Year Contract for County Dog Control, Watertown City Manager Recommends

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One year, not five. That's what Watertown's city manager is recommending to Watertown City Council, when it comes to dog control. He says he wants more time to figure out whether there's a cheaper way to go to the dogs.

Right now, Jefferson County handles dog control for the majority of towns in the county. But not everyone is happy with the cost or the service.

The City of Watertown is a big player in all this, since the county says the dog control program can't continue without the city signing on.

In a memo to city council, City Manager Rick Finn recommends a one year deal with the county, rather than the five years the county is seeking. Finn wrote that this will give the city time to figure out whether it makes sense to set up its own dog control program involving both the city and towns in Jefferson County.  The goal, Finn notes, is "reduced cost." and he says "initial analysis appears to be positive."

Finn's note to council also confirms what a council member told 7 News last week.

"Yeah, the conversations are ongoing. We need to continue to be a good neighbor and right now we're looking at a consortium with the towns with the city taking the lead or possibly working with the county in the future," said council member Mark Walczyk.

One thing Finn's memo makes clear is that working with the county will be expensive. The price jumps from $110 thousand a year to $160 thousand. But right now, the city has little choice.

"In the City of Watertown, we don't have the infrastructure to be able to house dogs, we don't have the personnel in place to operate a dog control program," stated council member Cody Horbacz.

City Council takes up the issue on Monday, but the matter isn't entirely in the city's hands. The county will have to decide whether it's willing to go along with a one year deal.

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