Increase in animal-services fees clears its first hurdle

An ordinance boosting fees for animal services while tightening codes governing owners of dogs, cats and other animals won preliminary approval Thursday in Carson City.

Inspection and permit fees for having more than three animals older than 6 months would jump from $2 to $50 under the proposal put before the Board of Supervisors, with a cost of $100 in the first year for application and inspection of premises. That’s in addition to the annual fee. Subsequently, just the $50 permit fee would apply each year.

The ordinance also would increase possible fines for misdemeanor violations, going from $500 to as much as $1,000, and/or up to six months in jail.

Supervisor John McKenna honed in during discussion, and in a subsequent review of related prospective planning changes, on the emotional nature of residents’ ties to their animals. His concern mostly focused on the aspect of how many animals are allowed at a location, which concerned many residents who previously weighed in at public forums.

But no one testified Thursday before the ordinance cleared the first reading hurdle. Supervisors will review it again in a future meeting before adoption.

The related planning proposal, which first goes to the Planning Commission before coming before the board, at this juncture envisions moving the definition of a kennel from holding four or more animals to 10 or more. McKenna expressed concern, saying 10 Chihuahuas on an acre isn’t the same as 10 large dogs.

Marena Works, director of Carson City Health and Human Services, talked of potential disease transmission. She also said, after a question from Planning Director Lee Plemel, that yapping or barking dogs can be a problem for neighbors.

City Manager Larry Werner weighed in, saying dog-size issues could make for enforcement problems that don’t stem from just a set number.

McKenna, after citing property rights as being important, said he would think about the issue and asked staffers to do the same.

Supervisors Thursday morning also:

Finalized action on bond refundings that could save Carson City perhaps $1.4 million via lower interest over the next 17 years.

Approved a contract of up to $25,000 with Miles Construction to provide pre-construction services for the planned Multi-Use Athletic Center.

Approved a contract for up to $193,237 with BHC Consultants for 2013 environmental permitting assistance needed by Public Works.

Adopted a resolution setting up an interlocal contract with the Nevada Division of Forestry for wildfire-protection cooperation and services for $150,000 from the city annually.

Gave initial approval to a four-year extension for development of a subdivision with 19 residential lots for Combs Canyon, LLC, for the project Combs Canyon II.

Supervisor Jim Shirk voted against the extension, saying he did so only because it was for four years rather than the usual two or three.


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