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Animal control issued postponed

Jason Ferguson
Published: Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

The Custer County Commission tabled signing an animal control contact with the City of Custer at its June 25 meeting, pending clarification of an insurance issue that was raised when the commission reviewed the contract.
Commissioner Travis Bies pointed out a clause in the contract, presented by the city to the county, that says the county must have a $2 million insurance policy to protect the city from any lawsuits that could arise from the sheriff’s department’s handling of animal control. The Custer County Sheriff’s Department continues to handle animal control duties for both the county and for the city.
Bies wondered if the county would be covered for any such instance under its current insurance policy, or if an additional policy was needed. Both county auditor Nancy Christensen and county attorney Tracy Kelley said they were confident the county was already protected under its current policy, but Christensen said she would double check with the county’s insurance provider, just to be safe. The county will readdress the animal control contract, for which the county receives $600 a month from the city, and its July 9 meeting.
The commission did unanimously approve a contract with the city to provide law enforcement for Custer at a cost of $346,821.75 to the city. That figure was derived from the number of calls the department receives from within city limits, and includes cost sharing on new vehicles for the department. In return, the city will receive some of the money back from sales of old vehicles when they are surplused and sold.
Also on the law enforcement front, the commission learned from Sheriff Rick Wheeler the cost of incarcerating an adult in the Pennington County jail is set to rise 8 percent, from $68 a day to $73 a day. However, Wheeler said he thinks that additional cost may be offset by all of the money the county is saving through its home detention program, which has already saved the county nearly $9,000.

The Custer County Commission tabled signing an animal control contact with the City of Custer at its June 25 meeting, pending clarification of an insurance issue that was raised when the commission reviewed the contract.

Commissioner Travis Bies pointed out a clause in the contract, presented by the city to the county, that says the county must have a $2 million insurance policy to protect the city from any lawsuits that could arise from the sheriff’s department’s handling of animal control. The Custer County Sheriff’s Department continues to handle animal control duties for both the county and for the city.

Bies wondered if the county would be covered for any such instance under its current insurance policy, or if an additional policy was needed. Both county auditor Nancy Christensen and county attorney Tracy Kelley said they were confident the county was already protected under its current policy, but Christensen said she would double check with the county’s insurance provider, just to be safe. The county will readdress the animal control contract, for which the county receives $600 a month from the city, and its July 9 meeting.

The commission did unanimously approve a contract with the city to provide law enforcement for Custer at a cost of $346,821.75 to the city. That figure was derived from the number of calls the department receives from within city limits, and includes cost sharing on new vehicles for the department. In return, the city will receive some of the money back from sales of old vehicles when they are surplused and sold.

Also on the law enforcement front, the commission learned from Sheriff Rick Wheeler the cost of incarcerating an adult in the Pennington County jail is set to rise 8 percent, from $68 a day to $73 a day. However, Wheeler said he thinks that additional cost may be offset by all of the money the county is saving through its home detention program, which has already saved the county nearly $9,000.

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