Commission approves rates for Farmington, Aztec shelters

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AZTEC — San Juan County will pay about 6 percent more money in fiscal year 2019 for animal shelter fees.

The San Juan County Commission approved the rates the county will pay Farmington and Aztec to shelter animals during its meeting Tuesday evening.

The county will likely pay about $766,000 this year for animals to be sheltered at the two animal shelters. This is an increase from the $720,000 the county approved last year.

The county will pay the Aztec Animal Shelter nearly $124 per animal from the county that stays at the shelter, no matter the length of the animal's stay. The county will pay nearly $184 for each animal from the county, regardless of length of stay, that is kept at the Farmington Regional Animal Shelter.

Last year, 1,836 animals from the county stayed at the Aztec Animal Shelter. Based on those numbers, the county will likely pay about $227,000 to Aztec.

About 42 percent, or 2,933 animals, at the Farmington shelter were from county land, according to county operations officer Mike Stark. Based on those numbers, the county would pay less than about $583,500. However, about three years ago the city of Farmington offered a phased-out subsidized rate for the county. The county has a 6 percent subsidy this year, which means it will pay about $539,000.

In the past, the county has paid for animals from within the Kirtland town limits that are taken to the Farmington shelter. Stark said there were about 130 such animals from Kirtland last year, but the county is no longer paying for the Kirtland animals. Stark said he is not sure if Kirtland is paying for the animals.

About 40 percent of the animals from the county last year that were housed at the Farmington shelter came from Navajo Nation. San Juan County currently pays for the Navajo Nation animals.

County Commissioner Jack Fortner asked the county staff to send a letter to the Navajo Nation asking the tribe to pay for the animals.

Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 or via email at hgrover@daily-times.com.

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