Animal control may be in the works in Electric City

No, seriously, it could be


Last updated 8/18/2021 at 7:54am

The lack of animal control locally has been an ongoing issue since time immemorial, but gears are turning in Electric City minds to find a solution for all the local towns.

It’s an issue that rears its head at least a couple times a decade, but at the Regional Board of Mayors meeting Aug. 9, Electric City employee Mike Shear and City Clerk Peggy Nevsimal spoke to the board concerning details on how to set up an animal control program. 

Shear, who currently does code enforcement work for the city and works for the Delano Regional Transfer Station, told the mayors that a new building for housing loose dogs would cost roughly $200,000.

The building would require heating, cooling, and a drainage system so that the floor could be washed down. 

Or an existing building could be retrofitted to meet the design requirements. 

Shear is interested in the job himself, or another city employee could possibly perform the duties.

Nevsimal told The Star it likely wouldn’t be a full-time job. 

The animal control officer would have to take a $450, two-week training in Burien, Washington. Food and lodging expenses would add to the cost to train someone, she noted.

A microchip reader would cost about $500 to scan the caught animals.

Shear has spoken with people involved with similar facilities in Ephrata and Wilbur.

He explained that someone whose dog was caught running loose might be charged $15 a day, and then more if the dog was caught again.

Mayor Paul Townsend, of Grand Coulee, said he’d like cats to be included in an animal control effort.

Nevsimal emphasized that the project was still very much in the beginning phases, and that getting a more specific location, and specific price tags, would be part of the next step.

The project could be an RBOM project, or it could be an Electric City project and the other towns could contract with Electric City for animal control services.

The costs could potentially be paid for with money from a Grant County special purpose sales tax, which was passed in 2019 to build a new jail in Ephrata and also to give municipalities money for law enforcement purposes. 

Nevsimal said Electric City has garnered about $80,000 from that tax and estimated Grand Coulee to have about twice that.

Transferring animals to other facilities after a certain amount of time, and the protocol for disposing of dead animals were also discussed.

Nevsimal said that just about every day the Electric City gets a call about a loose dog, an aggressive dog, or other similar issues. 

The topic was also discussed at Grand Coulee’s and Electric City’s individual council meetings recently.


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