Council reluctantly OKs animal control contract |

Council reluctantly OKs animal control contract

The South Lake Tahoe City Council begrudgingly approved an agreement with El Dorado County to renew animal-control services until June 30.

The panel voted 4 to 1 on Tuesday, with Councilwoman Judy Brown casting the no vote, to accept an 18 percent increase in fees the city pays the county to run the program based out of Shakori Drive. The county cites rising costs in staff and supplies.

The $115,000 was included in the 2002-03 city budget.

Still, Brown said she was frustrated by the costs and delay in coming up with a long-term solution.

“It seems like this (service cost) keeps inching up. I want to see this problem solved. We’ve been talking about this for months,” she said.

Brown wasn’t alone.

Mayor Brooke Laine wrapped up the consensus among the council by instructing city staff to tell the county negotiators that the council wants to “remain in the game.”

However, Laine added the council’s willingness to work with the county has been met with a “sense of disappointment” that there’s been no long-term resolution.

Before this newly approved contract expires, the city hopes to iron out a new site for the facility. The city plans to use new land alongside the Lake Tahoe Airport, and it would like to be compensated by the county for the use.

County Supervisor Dave Solaro secured $850,000 in capital funds to build a facility.

The county staff who work in animal control favors such a venture in the hopes of having a better designed facility that may come with a quarantine unit and will be more centrally located.

According to animal control Supervisor Robert Gerat, 70 percent of the critters are picked up within the city limits.

In the last few years, California counties have rushed to find solutions to overcrowding in their facilities, given the change in state law that extends the length of stay for the animals.

— Susan Wood can be reached at (530) 542-8009 or via e-mail at

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