Animal contract goes before city council

A one-year animal shelter services contract between the City of Oak Harbor and the Whidbey Animals’ Improvement Foundation will go before City Council next week for approval.

The contract was originally on the Dec. 1 consent agenda; however, Councilman Rick Almberg motioned for the council to consider the agreement at the Dec. 15 meeting as an action item.

Council members generally approve consent agenda items, which include bill payments and council member’s excused absence requests. Council members may discuss, modify and take public comment on action items.

“This is a $185,00 budget item. It involves a contract and I’d like WAIF people here to discuss it,” Almberg said. His motion to defer the contract to the next meeting passed unanimously.

The figure quoted by Almberg is actually the entire animal control budget, said City Administrator Paul Schmidt. WAIF’s contract is only $84,000 to $87,000 of the animal control budget.

In late October 2009, city officials and WAIF executive director Stephen Paysse tentatively agreed on the conditions of the existing contract to continue through 2010. The current contract will expire on Dec. 31, 2009.

City officials and WAIF first agreed to a yearly animal shelter services contract in 2005, which has been renewed every year since then.

If the contract is renewed, the city of Oak Harbor will make a monthly payment of $7,083.33 to WAIF, in addition to $30 per after-hour or holiday call.

Oak Harbor Police Chief Rick Wallace contacted Paysse about the council meeting and expects the WAIF executive director to attend.

Paysse did not return phone messages left by the Whidbey News-Times.

The Oak Harbor City Council will vote on the WAIF contract Tuesday, Dec. 15, 6 p.m. at City Hall, 865 SE Barrington Dr.

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