Salmon Arm council approved a new contract, in conjunction with the Columbia Shuswap Regional District, for animal control in the city. (Black Press file photo)

Salmon Arm council approved a new contract, in conjunction with the Columbia Shuswap Regional District, for animal control in the city. (Black Press file photo)

Animal control for Salmon Arm in 2022 sees fewer hours, higher per-hour cost

In 2023, hours and price in two-year contract for position shared with regional district will go up

The city’s animal control contract, which will see fewer hours this year at a higher per hour rate, has been awarded once again to Commissionaires B.C.

The new contract, which provides for a position shared with the Columbia Shuswap Regional District, will be for a two-year term from Feb. 1, 2022 to Jan. 31, 2024.

Erin Jackson, the city’s director of corporate services, told council at its Jan. 24 meeting that the hours will be reduced from 20 to 17 hours per week in 2022. The cost, which was $37.64 per hour, will increase to $40.45/hr to adjust for increased sick leave benefits and inflation.

Jackson reported the service includes regular patrols, dog impoundment, investigation of complaints and issuance of tickets. As the contract price is all-inclusive, the officer will be equipped with a vehicle that is clearly identified as Animal Control and will have all the necessary equipment. The city has the option to call the animal control officer for additional after-hours services at $80.90 per hour with a two-hour minimum. The commissionaire would also attend court if necessary.

The proposed rate for 2023, the second year of the contract, is $42.99 per hour for a service increase back up to 20 hours per week. Although there are no budget implications for the city in 2022, the changes in 2023 will result in an increase of approximately $8,000.

Read more: Salmon Arm, regional district join forces to provide dog control

Read more: Fees and fines jump for dog control

Animal control services for the city have been delivered under contract with the Commissionaires since February 2019.

“Commissionaires of BC is a non-profit organization that has become a well-established provider of bylaw enforcement and dog control services in this area. The B.C. division was established in 1927 with the original mandate of creating meaningful employment for former military and RCMP members. Today, the mandate has been broadened to ‘give back to all those who serve and have served our community and country,’” reported Jackson.

The public can contact the animal control officer via a dedicated phone line and email address as well as the city’s online Request Tracker.

Coun. Sylvia Lindgren was alone in voting against the contract.

“I think council’s aware, I’m not a big advocate for this type of contract; I’m not a supporter of us not knowing what the employees are making,” she said, adding she wishes the position could be brought in-house.

“In-house we know that fair wages are paid, benefits are provided, we know how the money is being spent – so I won’t be supporting this contract,” Lindgren said.
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