- Jan 10:
- Farmington Regional Animal Shelter holds grand opening, ribbon cutting ceremony
- Oct 23:
- Farmington Regional Animal Shelter prepares to open next month
- Oct 22:
- City council approves new guidelines for animal shelter
- Farmington announces new executive director of regional animal shelter
- Jul 30:
- Local veterinarians, animal welfare advocates say teamwork a necessity on spay/neuter, animal welfare initiatives
- Jul 28:
- Farmington, San Juan County governments look at spay/neuter initiatives
- Jul 24:
- Farmington Animal Shelter scales back animal control in wake of cat, dog influx
- Jul 23:
- Farmington City Council discusses animal shelter plans, future
- Jul 21:
- Farmington City Council to discuss animal shelter conditions, plan for future
- Jul 16:
- Farmington Animal Services Advisory Commissioners discuss shelter operations, progress
- Jul 11:
- Farmington Animal Shelter at capacity, understaffed as officials search for a humane solution
- Jun 26:
- Animal shelter controversy continues at Farmington City Council amid funding, staffing concerns
- Jun 23:
- Farmington City Council to consider crematory at animal shelter, discuss project progress
- Jun 16:
- Farmington leaders celebrate progress at new animal shelter
- Jun 5:
- San Juan County agrees to pay more for regional animal shelter
- May 29:
- Farmington City Council approves animal shelter consultant
- May 15:
- Farmington Animal Shelter's first adoption special a success
- May 6:
- Farmington Animal Shelter to hold cat, kitten adoption special
- Apr 23:
- Water, electric utility hookups left out of Farmington Animal Shelter budget
- Apr 12:
- Farmington Animal Shelter seeks volunteers and foster homes
- Feb 14:
- San Juan County, city officials and animal rights workers celebrate new animal shelter
- Jan 7:
- City Council to hear animal shelter improvement suggestions
- Nov 28:
- City Council approves construction on long-anticiapted animal shelter
- Nov 26:
- Farmington council approaches animal shelter decision
- Jul 16:
- Farmington Animal Shelter aims to find balance
- Jul 11:
- New Regional Animal Shelter plans unveiled
- Jul 8:
- Final public meeting for Farmington's animal shelter plans to be held Tuesday
- Jun 8:
- Farmington officials and residents plan new animal shelter
- Apr 4:
- Farmington chooses BDA Architecture for new animal shelter
- Mar 30:
- Farmington Animal Shelter has new, enthusiastic director
FARMINGTON — The city's Animal Services Advisory Commission's proposed changes to the Farmington Animal Shelter received unanimous praise from City Council Tuesday evening.
But the suggestions, which include hiring an assistant shelter manager, lead veterinary technician, establishing a volunteer program and expanding the spay and neuter clinic's operations, may come with too steep a price tag for the city's depleted coffers.
The commission's recommendations to Mayor Tommy Roberts and city council would cost the city about $440,000 in additional personnel costs for fiscal year 2014 and $702,500 in following years, according to Tuesday's presentation.
The city will also have to budget about $226,000 in additional operating costs for fiscal year 2014 and $314,000 in following years, said Bob Campbell, assistant city manager.
Coming up with those funds could be a significant challenge because the city's tax revenue has been falling. The latest statistics show that the city is operating at about 3 percent under its projected revenue.
"It's possible that we're going to be dealing with a reduced pie," Roberts said.
In spite of the looming budgeting challenges, Roberts thanked the commission for bringing their presentation to city council in time for consideration during the yearly budgeting process which will last until about May or June.
"I think (reviving the commission is) one of the best moves we've made," he said.
With construction of Farmington's new regional animal shelter expected to begin in the next few months, the city may have to find alternative funding and staffing options.
Roberts and city council members suggested a number of alternative funding sources, policy changes and cost-saving measures including implementing an sponsorship program to help boost pet-adoption rates, passing a mandatory spay-and-neuter ordinance and utilizing more volunteers to assist with day-to-day operations at the shelter.
In spite of the challenges, the expectation of improvement at the shelter remains.
"I want to recognize our animal shelter employees," said Councilwoman Mary Fischer. "We are so lucky to have such dedicated people on board."
But for Fischer, the work is far from over.
The city needs to move from animal control to animal services, she said.
"For every 10 animals brought in, 7 are killed," Fischer said. "We have under-funded that shelter for years. We have under-staffed it. We have treated it like a stepchild."