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City considering its own animal control service

By Staff | Aug 16, 2010

Code Compliance Manager Frank Cassidy said the city is still exploring the possibility of operating its own animal control service, adding that an RFP for a private, or a possible public-private partnership, is forthcoming.
Until then, city council will have to decide by Oct. 1 whether or not to renew an agreement with Lee County Domestic Animal Services to the tune of $886,403, for fiscal year 2010 – 2011, to provide animal control to the Cape.
The amount of the contract can be reduced to $805,821 if city council adopts the county’s animal control ordinance.
The reduced cost, Cassidy said, is $14,062 less then the previous fiscal year contract.
The contract also has a 60-day right to terminate clause.
Reactions to the possibility of a city-run animal control program ran into mixed opinions on the dais.
Councilmember Chris Chulakes-Leetz warned that the machinations of running that type of service might be, at this juncture, worth more then the $800,000-plus price tag.
“The complexities for animal control are numerous,” Chulakes-Leetz said. “But the price, which may seem exorbitant … in this economy it might be our best choice.”
Mayor John Sullivan thought the opposite, and asked staff to compare numbers of a fully city funded animal control, or a public private opportunity.
“I think there’s room for a public-private partnership here,” Sullivan said.
Cassidy said they were still working to refine the RFP, or request for proposal, but don’t know what services, exactly, are being provided to Cape Coral.
“We don’t have any benchmarks of the services provided daily to the city,” he said.
Council will probably defer its vote until Sept. 13, or later.
In other news, city council will approve the Selection Advisory Committee’s ranking of a shortlist for the design/build services for the Oasis Charter School expansion next week.
The project is estimated to cost $6 million
Ranked in order, they are: Number one, NDC Construction/Lawson Group Architects; Number two, Lodge Construction/Harvard Jolly Architects; Number three, McGarvey Construction of Florida/Wright Construction.
McGarvey previously designed and built Oasis Charter schools.
Councilmember Marty McClain will likely be absent for the council voting meeting next Monday.