FARMINGTON — The city's Animal Services Advisory Commission is recommending a number of changes to the city's animal shelter operations that include increased staffing and employee benefits.
The commission will make a presentation during City Council's 7 p.m. meeting on Tuesday.
The report indicates a need for additional kennel technicians to provide the proper level of care at the city's new animal shelter, which is expected to begin construction within the first half of 2013.
In addition, the report recommends making all employees full time with benefits and converting the nine seasonal positions to full time.
It also supports adding an assistant shelter manager, animal shelter lead veterinary technician, administrative assistant/volunteer coordinator and new front desk personnel.
The commission estimates that the personnel changes will add about $1.37 million to the fiscal year 2014 budget.
The commission was organized in August 2011 to assist the city in its animal services operations.
Among the commission's top recommendations would be increasing the animal shelter's live release rate from 32 percent to the national goal of 90 percent, the report states.
The commission also aims to decrease animal intake at the shelter.
City officials say that the commission's suggestions have been invaluable to improving shelter operations.
"Reflecting back on the last year, it's really been an asset for the shelter," said Bob Campbell, assistant city manager. "They've done a thorough analysis of best (shelter) practices nationwide. It's good information and our hope as staff is that council accepts that as advice and incorporates it into the budgeting process. A lot of policies are being developed for the new shelter."
Animal Shelter employees and Animal Services Advisory Commission members were unavailable for comment last week.