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Sticker shock: Flat Rock dog catcher would cost $100,000

FLAT ROCK — The pricetag is in for animal control, and Flat Rock leaders appear disinclined to pay it.

Mayor Bob Staton and Mayor pro tem Nick Weedman reported on their talks with Sheriff Charlie McDonald on sending the law to answer animal nuisance complaints. The sheriff's department now will dispatch deputies to answer any call involving public health, public safety or animal cruelty as set out in state law.
As for sending a deputy to investigate barking dogs, stray dogs or housecats using a neighbor's flowerbed as a litter box, that'll cost the village $85,000 to $100,000, Staton said. The annual cost of a deputy, including uniform, firearms, patrol car, space in the Village Hall and a laptop, could reach $100,000, Staton said.
"He would have other duties assigned by the sheriff, he would have court time, vacation time and sick leave and he would not be exclusively for us," the mayor said.
From a financial point of view, the severity of the problem does not justify an outlay of almost $100,000, Weedman said. "I think this should bring it to a closure," he said.
Council members Jim Wert and Jimmy Chandler asked how many animal control calls Flat Rock residents have made. "It seems to me we need that number in order to make a $100,000 decision," Wert said.
"The perspective I got was that it wasn't that great" a number, Weedman said. The sheriff indicated that a couple of residents "call all the time," Staton said.
The council took no action, agreeing to try to get a report on the number of unanswered nuisance calls Flat Rock residents are making. Another option is to hire a private nuisance control company to answer calls. The one Staton spoke with said he usually handles wildlife calls, not catching dogs and cats.