Warren County Animal Control director Kim Pettrey presented what could be considered a wish-list to members of the county’s Health and Welfare Committee.
Pettrey’s budget request is for $101,120, which is an increase of over $17,500 from last year’s budget.
The request for a new vehicle valued at $10,000 makes up the majority of the proposed increase. Animal Control currently has two vehicles.
Pettrey said one of the vehicles, a 2003 Chevy half-ton truck with 159,000 miles, is leaking water. She said she must put antifreeze in the vehicle every week.
Pettrey said Animal Control’s other vehicle, a 1997 Chevy half-ton truck with 234,000 miles, is in better shape than its newer counterpart.
“The ’97 is a better truck. It is wrecked and looks terrible but it is made sturdier. It is just a more heavy-duty built truck. The 2003 is going to need to have some major work done to it. It is leaking water and they cannot find out where. It might need a head gasket,” said Pettrey.
Pettrey is also asking for an increase in veterinary services. The 2013-14 budget called for $1,000 in veterinary services whereas the 2014-15 budget is asking for $6,000.
“Vet services have gone up a great deal. Pets must be spayed and neutered now before they leave and we have to pay for that. But we do get that money back. It’s a wash,” said Pettrey.
Owners who adopt a pet from Warren County Animal Control pay $85 for a dog and $65 for a cat. The fee includes spaying and neutering.
Commissioner Blaine Wilcher expressed concern for what he thought was a discrepancy in the budget.
“If you are getting paid back what you spend, then why does the budget not show that? If we accept this budget, then we are basically saying we accept $5,000 more for that but, if we get it back, where does it show that?” asked Wilcher.
Incoming revenue was not listed on the budget. A $1,200 grant was included to pay for low-income pet adoptions which Pettrey said will be recouped from the state.
Increases in salaries and wages for both the director and other workers at the facility were requested. Pettrey asked for a salary of $23,050, an increase of $1,088.
Following the resignation of full-time employee Karla Fischbach on March 25, Pettrey is the only salaried employee at Animal Control. Volunteers are offering their time to help Pettrey.
Pettrey discussed with commissioners the possibility of hiring two part-time employees instead of one full-time employee. The budget for a second employee was $17,680 in 2013-14. Pettrey is asking for the salary to be increased to $18,200 for the upcoming fiscal year.
“It would be nice to have two part-time people. The budget will be about the same except we won’t have to pay any retirement or medical insurance. If we hire someone full-time, we have to add another $2,700 in the budget because they must be offered medical insurance,” said Pettrey.
Members of the committee opted to table discussion concerning the budget until the next meeting to gather a few more details.
Members of the county Health and Welfare Committee are chair Sally Brock, Teddy Boyd, Billy Earl Jones, Diane Starkey and Blaine Wilcher.