Pelham officials are entering an agreement with the New Rochelle Humane Society to handle the pickup of stray and lost dogs in the Village of Pelham for $10,000 a year.
The Pelham village board voted to transfer dog licensing to the town after the state and Westchester County announced that they were no longer handling the responsibility. Although the town started taking over dog licensing responsibilities at the start of this year, officials were still trying to figure out a way to handle the pick up of strays.
Since the contract is being signed so late in the year, the Humane Society’s payment this year will be prorated. It isn’t clear what role the town’s constables or the Pelham village police play in the process, but town officials said those details will be ironed out.
“As I promised before, we will keep it as low as possible,” Peter DiPaola, the town supervisor, said of the deal.
Town officials said they chose New Rochelle Humane Society over the Westchester Shore Humane Society, which is the organization the Village of Pelham partnered with last year because of its reputation with the state Department of Agriculture and Markets. Westchester Shore Humane Society has been embroiled in controversy this year, .
DiPaola said expenses would be billed to al Pelham residents. Village officials have asked that the town bill them directly, but DiPaola said he isn’t sure that is legal.
“I would be glad to do that if it were possible, but from what I understand and the way the law reads, you have to bill the individual residents,” DiPaola said. “How it’s going to appear on the tax bill? I don’t know and I really don’t know the cost, yet, completely,because all I can tell you is the cost of New Rochelle Humane Society.”
Dipaola said there are administrative costs that need to be figured such as the printing of dog licenses and other paperwork. Also, the town needs to find a space to house the animals until the Humane Society can pick them up.
Councilman William O’Connor said there’s a possibility that village taxpayers may not see any additional costs at all. O’Connor said there were an estimated 600 dogs in the village last year, but only 60 of them were licensed. If more of those dogs are licensed this year, the town might make a profit from the licenses.
- Pelham officials are meeting with the Pelham Childrens Center today to work out the details of three-year lease agreement for the Richard J. Daronco Town House. The Children Center’s current lease runs out this month, but DiPaola assured the public that there aren’t plans to evict the center from the building.
- The state Comptroller’s Office completed a risk assessment of the town’s finances and reported it is satisfied with the town’s performance.