City to renew its agreement with King County for animal control services

The Redmond City Council gave the green light to Mayor John Marchione to renew the city's animal control services contract with King County for another three years at Tuesday's business meeting at City Hall.

The Redmond City Council gave the green light to Mayor John Marchione to renew the city’s animal control services contract with King County for another three years at Tuesday’s business meeting at City Hall.

Redmond will be one of 24 cities and unincorporated county communities that will be part of the three-year regional agreement, known as Regional Animal Services of King County.

For the last two years, the city has paid the county for animal control field work, shelter and licensing services. In exchange, the city will use any pet licensing revenue to help offset those animal control expenses to the county.

The current contract is good through the end of this year and Tuesday’s approval of the consent agenda by council members paves the way for a new contract with the county for animal control services through 2015.

Under the new contract, the city will pay the county an estimated $124,478 for animal control services in 2013, according to a city memo. These costs will be offset by the estimated $116,407 in license fee revenues during 2013. That means the estimated net costs for the city next year would be around $8,000, assuming the pet licensing revenue is the same in 2013 as in 2011, the memo said.

A big change to the new contract will be that the use and population numbers — which ultimately determine how much each city pays each year — will be fixed at 2011 levels and will not be adjusted from year to year. Under the current contract, the county reconciles actual use, population, costs and revenue each year.

The fixed feature of the new contract is important because “it provides stability for cities for planning purposes,” said Nina Rivkin, policy advisor for the City of Redmond Mayor’s Office.

In addition, the cost formula has been changed from a 50 percent use-50 percent population formula to an 80 percent use-20 percent population formula, which will benefit cities like Redmond, which has a low-use rate compared to south-county cities.

According to King County documents, Redmond, which has a population of just more than 55,000, is estimated to have 87 calls of service in 2013 with costs hovering around $124,00. By comparison, the City of SeaTac, which has a population of about 27,000, is estimated to have 200 service calls with costs in the $277,000 range.

All of the unincorporated communities in the county, including the areas east and north of Redmond, will also get animal control services, paid for by the county, as part of the regional agreement, Rivkin said. The county will pay an estimated total of about $800,000 in 2013 for animal control services in all of the unincorporated communities throughout the county, Rivkin said.

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