The Town of Lancaster has a newly-structured dog control operation, aimed at providing 24-hour coverage and trimming the yearly department cost by about $100,000, town officials say.
The Town Board on Tuesday continued to formally restructure dog control staffing by hiring five new part-time dog control officers and naming an existing one to oversee operations.
“We don’t want to sacrifice the coverage to the town,” Supervisor Dino J. Fudoli said during the board’s work session. “We want to continue the service provided before, just more efficiently.”
Fudoli noted that the department will continue to provide 24-hour coverage throughout the town, including the villages of Lancaster and Depew – as was done under the direction of full-time Dog Control Officer David R. Horn, who died in January.
In addition, the Town Clerk’s office will collect fees from residents seeking to reclaim their dogs. Residents will first have to get paperwork from the dog control office, pay their fee at the Town Clerk’s office and then take their receipt to the kennel before retrieving their pet. The town charges $25 for the first day and $10 for each additional day.
The Town Board named Lewis Pacanowski, a current part-time permanent dog control officer, to oversee the operations and be paid a $100 per week stipend for the additional duties – including scheduling and adoption work – beyond his on-call status pay.
The board also hired five new part-time officers who will work no more than 19.75 hours per week. They are: Raymond Boreanaz of Lancaster; Dawn DelPrince of Depew; Damian Martelli of West Seneca; Nicholas Mutton of Depew; and Thomas Irish of Lancaster. The five will be paid $50 for each 24-hour period they are on call.
Councilman Mark S. Aquino, a lawyer, recused himself from voting on a separate resolution to hire Irish, whom he represents and who also is a tenant of a building that Aquino co-owns.
The town’s restructured dog control operations are expected to save the town about $100,000 a year for a department that had cost $140,428 a year. Since Horn’s death, town officials have questioned incomplete bookkeeping and dog redemption fees that they are looking to improve.
Fudoli continued to indicate that Lancaster would not look to share dog control services with the Town of Clarence or to use that town’s kennels instead of Lancaster’s rundown one on Walden Avenue on land that the town is interested in selling.