The Aurora Town Board on Monday appointed four assistant dog control officers who are part-time parks employees to be “on call” and handle dog calls on a rotating basis.
It’s all part of a larger plan put in place by the town shortly before Thanksgiving to save money and consolidate what had been a full-time operation for dog control services in the town and East Aurora.
The town’s full-time dog control department has been disbanded and been placed under the umbrella of the town Highway Department in an effort to streamline operations.
Town leaders say the new system, in place since Nov. 19, is expected to net a savings of about $14,000.
“Dog control is one of those things that is sporadic. Many towns larger than us have gone to part-time dog control officers, and it’s been successful,” Supervisor Jolene M. Jeffe said in an interview Monday.
Sheryl Harris is still the dog control officer for the town but in a part-time capacity and on-call dog duty during the day. Last month, she was moved into the parks division within the Highway Department to help with work there.
The Town Board also voted Monday to increase dog license fees by $2, from $10 to $12, for neutered and spayed pets, and from $18 to $20 for nonneutered ones. The increased rates kick in Jan. 1.
The town also approved a dog kennel contract with Bill Newell, the Holland dog catcher, for dog impoundments on weekends at Newell’s Savage Road property where there are kennels. The one-year contract, subject to renewal, calls for Aurora to pay him $75 per month.
The town houses any dogs it picks up during the week at its highway garage, where there are a few kennels. Until the weekend arrangement in Holland, Aurora would pay someone, usually Harris with flex time, to come in three times a day to walk the dogs and feed them.
In other matters Monday, resident Bill Adams complained that the new Town Hall, named the Southside Municipal Center, is lacking an American flag on the front-yard flagpole and lighting in front of the building at 300 Gleed Ave.
The flagpole is empty and unlit, while the rest of the building has undergone significant renovations to accommodate town offices, which moved there recently from the old chapel on the Roycroft Campus.
“Our old Town Hall had a beautiful flag lit,” Adams said. “The Village Hall has a lighted flag. The library has a lit flag, and there are lights at the traffic circle.”
Jeffe told Adams he was right about his beef. Building Inspector Patrick Blizniak said that Warning Electric is coming this week to determine the electrical problem in front of the Municipal Center.