The Niagara County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals will resume animal control services in the City of Niagara Falls today after the City Council approved a contract it had rejected last month.
The Council on Monday unanimously approved a retroactive $79,545 agreement with the SPCA.
Mayor Paul A. Dyster and SPCA Executive Director Albert J. Chille said they expect an amended agreement to be finalized this month that will address outstanding issues between the two sides.
The vote came after the agency stopped providing services in the Falls on Thursday because it had not been paid by the municipality since January, when its annual contract expired.
City leaders and Chille spent the weekend discussing the agency's contract and have an "agreement in principle" that would resolve several issues about the level of service the SPCA provides, Dyster said.
The Council tabled the SPCA's 2008 contract last month and asked the mayor to renegotiate the agreement to address city complaints, including a concern that the agency does not issue enough summonses to people who fail to renew dog licenses.
Councilman Robert Anderson Jr. said Monday he was satisfied after speaking with Chille that the issues between the city and the SPCA could be worked out.
"These problems didn't come up overnight between the city and the SPCA," Anderson said. He said the city is working on reducing the amount of time SPCA officers have to spend in court each time they issue a summons.
In the meantime, the Council approved the retroactive agreement so that the agency could be paid for work it has already done this year.
Dyster said the city could not pay for SPCA services it had already provided without the retroactive agreement in place. The agency has also sought an increase for rising gasoline prices. Dyster said a fee increase could be addressed in the amended contract.e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org