Pay back not in dog fund

Repayments back to the Auglaize County Board of Commissioners are not reflected at this time in the Dog and Kennel Fund for 2014.

Commissioner Doug Spencer said it would make a big impact to Auglaize County Dog Warden Russ Bailey’s budget when it is added, but for now they are waiting until the project is done to budget payback as they have yet to determine what amount that will be.

“Not until we know what the exact final advance is do we want to worry about the payback schedule, but it is something to be cognizance of,” Spencer said during the first day of county budget hearings held Tuesday.

He said they also will need to decide whether or not to get a head start on the payback in 2014 or give Bailey’s budget a little breathing room as he settles into the new building and adjusts to higher utility bills for a year before starting payments in 2015.

“Once we determine that we will decide how much and how quickly the money will be paid back,” Spencer said.

The 2,700-square-foot building is being constructed off of Dearbaugh Avenue, in Wapakoneta, on county-owned land between the Auglaize County Sheriff’s Office and camping for the Auglaize County Fairgrounds along U.S. 33. Estimated costs are $427,900.

For now, Bailey estimated his budget for 2014 increasing by 5 percent to $115,550. 

The biggest increase in line items is $5,000 in contract services, which is expected to increase to $18,000 in the new year.

“I expect things to go up, but that is just a guess at what gas and electric prices will be with the new building,” Bailey said. “It’s a number I threw in there. I think it will keep us safe until we know more what utilities will be.”

In the previous building, Bailey didn’t operate more than a fan during the summer to keep the building cool, so utilities are not something he has had to budget much for before.

Supplies also increased by $1,000 to $14,000 in his budget for 2014.

Bailey said there may be a need for an increase to buy dog food, which last year was given to the dog warden from a surplus. 

Bailey’s salary line item remained the same at $55,803, until commissioners determine if they will provide any kind of across the board cost of living pay increases for employees in the new year.

Also budgeted the same in the dog and kennel fund for 2014 are equipment at $3,000 and repairs at $2,000. 

“Hopefully with the new building there are few repairs,” Bailey said, adding that the truck, purchased new in 2011 is also still running good.

To date it has 108,000 miles on it after being used by the dog warden’s office for the past two and a half years.

“Initially we talked about budgeting for a vehicle every three years,” Bailey said. “If this truck continues to run like it is now, I see no reason to do that.”

Claims, payments made for animals killed by dogs in the county, also are staying the same at $5,000 going into 2014.

“We have had a lot of good luck with finding the dog owner and putting it back on them when we have claims,” Bailey said.

Travel remains at $1,500, with the possibility of it being used for some training, and other benefits will increase or remain the same based on the salary line item.

Supporting costs in the Dog and Kennel Fund are the sale of dog licenses, which are required for every dog in the county, as stipulated by the state.

In 2013, approximately 7,500 tags were sold in Auglaize County, with more than 8,000 expected to be sold in 2014. 

Bailey said they already have a list of people who need to purchase tags going into 2014 and many of those have late fees, which doubles the cost.

As for construction of the new dog shelter, Auglaize County Administrator Mike Hensley said it remains on target to be completed by the beginning of the new year, with the possibility that it could be a little behind because of scheduling required state checks around the holidays.

Costs remain on target with masonry to be finished this week and drywall done by the end of next week, Hensley said.

The commissioners continue to discuss a few items at the shelter, including how to best divide back-to-back kennels to prevent contact between the dogs and why plans didn’t include a ceiling on the acquaintance room to separate it from the noise of the main kennel area. Also still being discussed is office furniture.