Taylor wants city to explore other animal control options

City council would like to see some alternatives in place to the regional district service.

Although there aren’t any major problems with the city’s current animal control contract, city council would like to see some alternatives in place to the regional district service.At the March 10 city council meeting, Mayor Brian Taylor, as the city’s representative on the regional district board, said the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) is looking at signing another contract with the Commissionaires for animal control—a shared service between Grand Forks, Area D (rural Grand Forks), Greenwood and Area C (Christina Lake).Taylor told council he would like to see the regional district look at alternatives such as bringing back the BCSPCA.He said the contract—that would commit the city and the surrounding areas to the Commissionaires—from the regional district was a “fairly decent” one, but it didn’t include cats. This time around, said Taylor, the Commissionaires are looking long term.“They’ll be looking for a multi-year contract,” he told council.Taylor said the contract would be for around $140,000 of which 40 per cent would go to the Commissionaires for administrative fees.Council made a motion to have our chief administrative officer Doug Allin contact the regional district and set up a meeting to talk to them about alternate options. “(We need) something that provides more humane services such as adoptions as well as cat services,” Taylor said. “I’m happy council wants to talk about it. I’m not comfortable with the contract at all.”Taylor admitted the service under the Commissionaires has done well and he didn’t recall too many complaints, particularly compared to the year before where the city had many problems with the previous animal control officers.“It was a bit of a disaster so no one wanted to go back to that,” he said. “Yet with a shared service that’s what we’re set up to do: contract out that service not contract to a secondary contractor. They’re (Commissionaires) a for-profit corporation. They’re not a non-profit. People need to know that. They’re paying themselves really well while, in fact, the wages to the front line employees are minimized.”Taylor felt that since the people of Grand Forks and the Boundary region were paying for the service, the money should go to local residents not to an outside contractor.“We simply want to sit down and see if we can work out a different arrangement with the partners,” he said.