March 14, 2013
PDT Staff Writer
In January the staff of the city of Portsmouth Health Department and the staff of the Scioto County Dog Pound began conversations aimed toward establishing a better working relationship and solving some other problems.
One of the issues brought to light, was the city may not be paying their fair share of pound expenses.
At the Thursday meeting of the Scioto County Commissioners, Chris Smith, Portsmouth City Health Commissioner presented an analysis he conducted about the issue.
“Over the past years, there have been questions of how much or if Scioto County has been subsidizing the City of Portsmouth for the dogs that are taken to the Scioto County Dog Pound,” Smith said.
He said the analysis was done at the request of the Commissioners with inquiries from the Portsmouth City Solicitor and the Scioto County Prosecutor. Smith met with Scioto County Dog Pound Administrator Pam Frowine to assess the costs incurred by Scioto County as a result of processing city dogs.
“When I did the analysis, everything came out to 25 percent. We’re (city of Portsmouth) 25 percent of the population, we make of 25 percent of the revenue and we accounted for about 25 percent of the dogs,” Smith told the commissioners. “In the final analysis, pound related expenses is about $97,000 even though you spend about $200,000 on the dog pound. The other part of that cost would be for your dog wardens. Out of that $97,000 the city’s share would be around 25 percent or $24,330.”
He said, pound-related revenue equates to about $61,000 with the majority of the revenue coming from fees.
“We (the city of Portsmouth) would account for 25 percent of the pound-related revenue. If you look at that, we account for $15,329. So, the city would have a deficit of about $9,000,” Smith said.
In his analysis, Smith offers recommendations on how to reconcile the difference. Those recommendations include raising of the drop fee. The pound only charges citizens $25 to drop off animals, even through it costs the county $44 in unfunded expenses per dog.
Smith recommends the drop off fee be raised to $50, but cautioned doubling the fee could lead to more dogs in the county which could lead to further humane and nuisance issues.
He further recommended an increase in the city dog tag revenue of $9,000 to make up the difference. He said this could be done through a number of ways, a media/awareness campaign, enacting a zero tolerance policy with the Portsmouth Police Department and Animal Control Officers when it comes to animal issues.
Another recommendations was working with the courts to coordinate fines to ensure the pound receives the maximum revenue.
Smith said he also has a request for funding within the city’ Capital Improvement Projects budget to make improvements to their temporary kennel.
The Commissioners accepted the analysis and will consider it’s recommendations at a future date.
Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 228, or firstname.lastname@example.org.