What's the best way to control animal control services costs?
That is the question facing the City Council as Bellevue's contract with King County for animal control, sheltering and licensing approaches expiration. The council began looking at the issue Monday.
In July 2010, the city joined a regional animal services program administered by the county, which replaced a county program that proved too costly without contributions from the cities. While the regional program is better, it still cost the county and 26 cities, including Bellevue, about $2.5 million last year.
The city is exploring whether it would be cheaper for Bellevue to have animal services provided through a subregional program with other Eastside cities. In that arrangement, Bellevue would provide field services for all four cities and provide its own licensing. The four cities would contract with a private shelter.
Last year, 9,380 licenses were sold to Bellevue residents, most of whom pay the county $30 to license their pets.
The council will revisit the animal services issue in late March and possibly take action in late April. If the city seeks to withdraw from the county's regional program, it must give notice by May 1.
Feedback: Sheida Sahandy, City Manager's Office, 425-452-6168 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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