Tuesday , February 18, 2014 - 11:30 AM
PLEASANT VIEW — The death of a longtime city employee has caused officials to consider handling animal control services differently.
For starters, no more raccoons.
Lynette Lewis had worked for the city in one capacity or another for 22 years, most recently serving as animal control officer and crossing guard for 16 years. She died in December, city officials saying they will be big shoes to fill because Lewis went the extra mile for residents, even picking up raccoons and such.
Now the city needs to decide whether to continue animal services as a part-time position or make it a fulltime job.
Police Chief Scott Jackson said the city may want to modify the position and make it a fulltime job for a police officer, who can provide animal control as well as patroling at the same time. Jackson said 75 percent of the equipment used for animal control is part of the police department.
Jackson a third option would be to have animal contol contracted out with Weber County, allowing Pleasant View to get out of the animal control business.
Jackson said a starting wage for a police officer in this position would be approximately $16.29 per hour and would include benefits.
City Administrator Melinda Greenwood said the new position would be limited to handling cats and dogs and other domestic animals.
“We don’t deal with skunks, and we won’t be handling racoons anymore either. Animal control is set up for domestic animals,” said Greenwood.
She said the city has around 500 licenses for pets annually. She did acknowledge the city has an ongoing problem with racoons in certain areas.
“Lynette went above and beyond, but we are going to have to say sorry, we handle (only) domestic animals,” said Greenwood.
Some residents have expressed interest in the part time animal control position, but council members made no decision and will look at the issue again in a future meeting.