SOLON– The city of Solon is doing what a number of other communities have already done– switch animal control providers.
At a May 2 meeting, city council members voted unanimously to approve a new contract for animal control services with the Cedar Valley Humane Society in Linn County.
Solon has been a client of the Iowa City Animal Care and Adoption Center, but will terminate its current contract effective June 30.
The new agreement with the Cedar Valley Human Society goes into effect July 1, according to Solon City Administrator Cassandra Lippincott.
Under the current agreement with the Iowa City shelter, Solon paid $150 per animal for shelter services, Lippincott said.
Through the Cedar Valley Humane Society, the price drops to $130 per animal.
Solon began looking for an alternative provider after the City of Iowa City asked local governments who have utilized the shelter to help pay for the construction of a new facility and its ongoing operation.
The Iowa City shelter’s location on Kirkwood Avenue flooded in both 2003 and 2008 and has since been operating out of a temporary location on Sand Road.
A new location on Napoleon Lane was proposed at a cost of about $4.2 million, with Solon asked to pay $25,655 for construction and an annual contribution of $6,511 for operating costs.
Iowa City officials used data from 2009-2011 to calculate each jurisdiction’s average use over the past three years, and translated those figures into percentages of overall operating costs and the capital outlay for a new building.
That seemed a little steep for the City of Solon, which decided to go shopping for other options.
The city’s new contract will be similar to its old one; The shelter is only to accept an animal if it has been authorized by a city staff member.
When a stray animal is reported to the city, Lippincott said, staff attempt to locate and catch it. An attempt is made to identify ownership through tags or microchipping. If unsuccessful, the animal is taken to a shelter.
The owner must pay the shelter’s fee to reclaim the animal, and in those cases, the city is not charged.
The Cedar Valley Humane Society is located at 7411 Mt. Vernon Rd. SE, Cedar Rapids, just off Highway 13.