The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Local News

February 27, 2013

Council seeking animal control proposals

CLINTON — In two weeks the Clinton City Council will know who wants to provide animal impoundment services to the city and what those services will cost.

Council members during the Committee of the Whole meeting on Tuesday approved 6-1 a request for proposal for animal impoundment services. Under the terms set forth in the RFP, the contractor selected to impound animals would only be required to accept dogs, cats and some other animals delivered by the animal control officer. The contract would last for five years with an option for either party to quit the agreement with a 90-day written notice.

Last week council members decided the direction of animal control services after the council's inability to override Mayor Mark Vulich's veto of the contract with the Clinton Humane Society or to approve a contract with local veterinary clinic All Pets left the city without an animal impoundment contract.

The RFP calls for dogs to be kept for four days and cats to be kept for three days at the expense of the city. By law, the contractor would be required to keep the animals for seven days. After that period, the animals can either be euthanized or adopted.  

The city anticipates it will deliver approximately 10 dogs and 15 cats per month based on last year's numbers provided by the Clinton Police Department.

Ward 3 Council member Bev Hermann predicted because citizens would call the animal control officer to pick up animals rather than delivering the animals themselves, these figures might be higher than anticipated.

She also suggested the RFP should be amended to include a requirement that proposals detail the adoption services and standards they plan to use.

“I'd really like to see our adoption rates increase," Hermann said.

She went on to say, "I think we should have some expectation of service and the type of service that they render. It's not fair to the animals and it's not fair to people that would like to adopt, but aren't allowed to."

Council members unanimously agreed to the amendment. Further, Hermann said she would like to amend the RFP so the contractor would have to provide financial reports to the city detailing where any money provided through a subsidy was used. The RFP leaves it open for the contractor to determine if they would like to be paid through a subsidy or fees, or both.  

The RFP as presented calls for the contractor to provide a monthly report to the city regarding operations and to meet with city staff on a quarterly basis.

What the contractor would spend subsidy money on would be detailed in the proposal.  

No amendment was made regarding financial reporting.

The contractor will also need to state the services that will be provided, the specific costs, any assistance the city may be requested to provide and a detailed plan for any installation of any additional facilities, equipment or hardware the contractor would need to provide impoundment services.

A final amendment, suggested by At-large Council member Jennifer Graf, requiring the contractor to detail their certificates and licensures was added. Contractors will also be required to provide information regarding the size and type of business, longevity and client information so the city can evaluate the stability and financial strength of the company. Three references will be required also.

At-large Council member John Rowland, who was the lone dissenter, said he was skeptical that the RFP would attract any contractors and  was not ready to “buy in.”

"I will just be astounded if we're not looking at the best scenario the same two people possibly and no more. I'd be willing to bet a Pepsi with anybody that we'll probably have none," Rowland said.

The RFP will be posted and submission will be due on March 13.

The contract is anticipated to be awarded on April 9.

In other COW action, representatives from Springsted, who were scheduled to present on the solid waste study, were unable to attend. Their presentation will be rescheduled.

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