SYRACUSE -- City officials have approved an animal control agreement with Davis County but are expressing frustration with the increasing costs.
The city council authorized administration to execute an agreement with Davis County for animal control.
In 2008, animal control services cost the city $20,000.
That had been the price for many years, but in 2009, the cost jumped to $29,844.The cost again increased in 2010 to $40,000.
Now, the fee for the current fiscal year is $41,340.
Davis County uses a formula based on calls for service, so as the city's call volume goes up, so does the cost.
Mayor Jamie Nagle said the price for animal control was included in the budget this year, but authorization for the agreement was needed.
Councilman Alan Clark said the continuing increase in cost is concerning.
He asked if the animal control budget was stagnant or if it was increasing with the price increases to cities.
Councilman Larry Shingleton said the animal control budget increased by $19,000.
"It is frustrating to me when we are doing everything we can to pinch pennies," Clark said.
"I really don't like that they are increasing their budget and passing the cost to us."
Officials say the county provides good service and there's no way the city could do it cheaper.
Police Chief Brian Wallace explained in a statement that animal control costs from South Ogden, Riverdale and Ogden were compared to Syracuse's own cost.
He said officials also considered starting a city program but the start-up and maintenance costs were too much to be feasible.
Wallace acknowledged the frustration with having no control over costs and expansion of the county's animal control facilities and equipment, but said the county does give good service and value.
Council members agreed, but noted the budget for animal control does not seem as flat as the city's own budget.
"I think we all agree that they definitely increase their budget and pass the costs to us," said Councilman Doug Hammond. "That is not right."
Despite the council's frustrations, the agreement was approved 3-1 with Hammond opposed.