NEW PORT RICHEY — Despite a “noble effort” by volunteers to run a city-operated animal shelter, New Port Richey city officials decided this week to pay Pasco County to resume animal services for the city.
Mayor Bob Consalvo and interim City Manager Susan Dillinger thanked Sharon McReynolds and volunteers who ran the local kennel since October 2012. Several setbacks hampered their efforts. The mayor plans some type of recognition for the group.
Savings of $20,000 to $30,000 a year had been part of the original appeal of the city attempting to run its own animal protection unit.
Some hard feelings developed, city officials recalled, when Pasco County would not allow the city to end its contract early, in February 2012.
At that time, the city was paying $56,000 a year to Pasco Animal Services. The previous contract was slated to rise to $75,000.
On Tuesday night, city council members voted to pay the county $84,476 a year, prorated for 2014, under new terms.
In addition, the city will pay a one-time setup fee of $28,794 toward buying a vehicle, digital camera, scanner, laptop computer and other supplies.
City and county officials expressed optimism the new pact would work out well for both parties.
Mike Shumate, manager of Pasco Animal Services, said he hopes to foster good relations with the city.
The county agency has stepped up its efforts since 2012, Suzanne Salichs, assistant county administrator for public services, said. The Pasco shelter in Land O’ Lakes instituted a Save 90 Percent Initiative.
The county agency plans to unveil a mobile pet adoption van soon.