GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado - Garfield County commissioners will take a look at the county's animal control costs, after one commissioner questioned a contract with an area veterinary clinic that provides boarding and medical services to prepare stray and abandoned pets for adoption.
"I'd like to put pencil to paper on this and try to figure out the cost per animal," Commissioner Tom Jankovsky said during Monday's regular Board of County Commissioners meeting.
Commissioners voted 2-1 to approve a $290,000 contract renewal with Divide Creek Animal Hospital, which is one of two clinics the Garfield County Sheriff's Office works with to provide animal control services.
The commissioners last week approved a similar, $390,000 contract with the Colorado Animal Rescue (CARE) facility, located in Spring Valley outside Glenwood Springs.
CARE provides the same services for the unincorporated eastern portion of the county as Divide Creek does for the west end.
Given the approximately 400 animals, mostly dogs and cats, that were handled for the county by Divide Creek in 2012 for the same $290,000 cost, Jankovsky pointed out that comes to $725 per animal.
Jankovsky noted that he voted in favor of the CARE contract, but didn't begin questioning the costs until he saw the numbers associated with Divide Creek's services.
"I'd just like to have a better understanding of the program, because it seems excessive to me," Jankovsky said in voting against the Divide Creek contract.
Jankovsky said it might make more sense in future years to contract for services on a per-animal basis.
Commissioners agreed to schedule a work session with Sheriff Lou Vallario to review the animal care statistics for the past year and assess the costs.
Commission Chairman John Martin agreed it would be good for the newer commissioners, including Jankovsky and Mike Samson, to learn more about the county's now 16-year-old animal control program.
But, having been on the BOCC when the program was started, Martin said it has been an effective program in reducing the number of stray animals and adopting them out to new owners.
He said contracting for services, including neutering and spaying, is less expensive than for the county to operate its own animal shelter. A date for the followup work session was not set.
In other business at Monday's BOCC meeting, the commissioners:
• Approved a $694,123 contract with Gould Construction to replace the bridge leading into Oak Meadows subdivision on County Road 168A, off Four Mile Road. The construction, slated for later this spring or summer, will be in followup to engineering work that was done last year.
• Agreed to donate an out-of-service sheriff's pickup truck to Nancy Limbach's Schneegas Wildlife Foundation near Silt to assist in transporting animals.
• Approved a land-use change permit for a water impoundment, storage and material handling facility and injection well northwest of Parachute in the Garden Gulch area. The facility will be operated by Berry Petroleum, Marathon Oil Co., Wapiti Oil and Gas, and PGR Partners.
• Appointed Ian Exelbert to sit on the Garfield County Investment Advisory Board.
• Reappointed Michael Weerts to sit as the New Castle representative on the Garfield County Public Library District board.