The cities of Kenai and Soldotna may soon begin sharing animal shelter services. The Soldotna city council will vote on an ordinance next week that would close the shelter in town and move found animals to Kenai.
In a memo, Soldotna city manager Stephanie Queen cites a decrease in the number of lost animals wrangled up by the city’s animal control officer over the last half decade. In 2013, it was more than 300. Last year, it was a third of that. Meanwhile, Kenai is a lot busier, averaging more than 800 animals a year and with a capacity to handle even more.
The closure would equal a savings of some $58,000 in Soldotna, mostly due to reduced building costs. The city would retain a full time animal control officer, but they’ll work out of the police station now and transport all animals straight to Kenai.
If approved, the contract between the twin cities would go into effect on July 1st and last one year as a sort of pilot project. In return, Kenai will get a lump sum payment of $42,000 and, if they take in more than 150 strays from Soldotna, will charge an additional $384 per animal. The council will vote on the ordinance next week, when it will vote on the rest of the budget for next year.