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Kirkland Council approves contract with King County for animal control
Kirkland’s City Council on June 19 authorized City Manager Kurt Triplett to sign a new, three-year animal control contract with King County.
Under the new agreement, King County will assign one animal control officer to the northern district, which includes Kirkland and eight other cities. And, for three years beginning in 2013, King County will continue to license, control and shelter Kirkland’s animals.
This new contract is a significant improvement from the original King County contract, which expires at the end of this year.
One of the new contract’s most significant improvements is a change to the way King County charges Kirkland for animal control services. The new system bases 20 percent of the costs on population size and 80 percent on use. The county’s old system based 50 percent of animal services costs on the city’s population size. The other 50 percent was based on use. The new formula results in a decreased cost to Kirkland for all three years of the new contract.
The new contract also caps program costs in the first year, and restricts increases to inflation and major population shifts in 2014 and 2015. For Kirkland and other cities, this new approach controls costs, minimizes financial risks, and ensures predictability.
“The commitment to cap costs and establish predictability in 2014 and 2015 was critical to the City of Kirkland,” says Kurt Triplett, Kirkland City manager.
When the city’s leaders analyzed the possibility of a Kirkland run system for the same time-period, they discovered that the required start-up costs exceeded the price of King County’s system.
Kirkland’s leaders will continue to monitor the effectiveness and cost efficiency of the regional model’s service provision. At the same time, they will continue to evaluate a local service delivery option, which at some point, could be the city’s more cost-effective channel of delivering animal services.