Franklin County commissioners appear closer to approving a proposal by Pasco to provide animal control in some areas of the county.
The commissioners Wednesday discussed the $17,650 proposal, which would include regular patrols by an animal control officer and call responses by an emergency on-call officer.
Franklin County doesn't have animal control. All it does have is a contract with Animal Hospital of Pasco to hold dangerous dogs.
Commissioners have been lobbied by two county residents who were bitten by loose dogs to pass a leash law for Pasco's urban growth area, which is land outside city limits that is expected to eventually become city land.
The concerns have been targeted especially at city-county "doughnut holes" -- unincorporated county lands that are surrounded by Pasco.
Pasco, Richland and Kennewick operate Tri-Cities Animal Control and contract with Angela Zilar, animal control director, for animal control within the three cities.
Pasco's proposal would allow county residents in the urban growth area to drop off stray animals at the Tri-Cities Animal Control shelter in Pasco. As part of the proposal, city officials have asked the county to adopt animal control regulations and licensing similar to Pasco's for within the urban growth area.
Commission Chairman Bob Koch said his only issue with Pasco's proposal was the cost for limited services that would be provided only for dangerous dogs outside the urban growth area.
The city has proposed a 2-hour minimum hourly charge of $100 per hour plus mileage for those calls, where an animal control officer would pick up a dangerous dog and take it to the county's contracted veterinarian office.
Koch said the county should talk to Pasco about that cost and see if it's possible to establish some sort of zones with different charges depending on location. But Koch said he didn't consider that to be a "show-stopper" for the proposal.
County Administrator Fred Bowen said he will contact city officials and let them know commissioners agree with the majority of the contract except for the fee for rural service.