Council to tackle animal control issue |

Council to tackle animal control issue

Like many things in life, El Dorado County animal-control costs to be passed on to South Lake Tahoe are barking up a familiar inflationary tree.

The City Council may renew a contract at an 18 percent increase in fees this afternoon with the county for animal control services on Shakori Drive.

The $115,000 — which the county attributes to rising costs in staff and supplies such as dog food and gasoline — was included in the city’s 2002-03 budget.

For the following year, the two governments hope to negotiate building a new animal shelter with a better design.

“As costs go up, then it becomes necessary to look at other ways to provide service,” City Manager David Jinkens said Monday. “What we’re going to do is negotiate with the county, but we need more time.”

County Supervisor Dave Solaro secured $850,000 in capital funds to help build a shelter. In turn, the city would like to use the land it bought at the Lake Tahoe Airport as the shelter’s new home.

Robert Gerat, supervising animal control officer, favors a new location with expanded facilities. Gerat would like to have a quarantine area and a stray ward.

“Right now, we’re pretty crowded,” he said, adding that all 20 units to house cats that are up for adoptions are now filled.

Of the animals the county picks up, about 70 percent come from areas within the city limits, Gerat estimated.

“It would be nice to have it more centrally located,” he said.

Counties throughout California have been scrambling over the last five years to accommodate an increased length of stay for animals before they are euthanized.

State law says strays are to be held by the county for four days. Animals with identification are kept for a week.

Today’s meeting is scheduled in the council chambers at 1900 Lake Tahoe Blvd. Later, the room will be used by the county to tabulate votes for the city precincts. With security on hand, the public is invited to witness the democratic process in action.

In two weeks the city is scheduled to release its proposed vacation-home rental ordinance at a 6 p.m. public hearing.

Copies of the ordinance are available for review in the City Clerk’s Office at 1052 Tata Lane or go to

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

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