With 42 Delaware County municipalities on board, plans will now move forward for the , with a target opening date of July 1, 2012, according to Animal Protection Board Chairman Tom Judge.
The 42 municipalities, including Marple and Newtown, have signed a three-year, $250-per animal contract.
At a in late November, Judge said that without 39 to 41 contracts, plans for the animal control facility would not move forward. The original deadline for issuing a statement of intent to the county was Dec. 16, but only about 30 municipalities had signed by that time. The deadline was extended to Dec. 22.
Judge said he understood that given municipal meeting schedules, it was not possible for everyone to vote by Dec. 16.
"I have worried every day since July 19, when I was appointed to this position, about how we're going to bring this all together in the time frame that we have," Judge said. "But the slowness in municipalities' response didn't concern me."
, Media, Springfield, Edgmont and Haverford have all signed the new animal control facility contract, and Manager Anthony Hamaday told Patch that the township would sign the contract in the first few days of 2012, if not sooner. Middletown Township Manager Bruce Clark said the contract will be on council's agenda Jan. 9, and he expected that it would pass.
Upper Providence Township did not return calls by the time of publication.
Radnor Township has decided not to sign the contract, according to an email from Radnor Police Superintendent William Colarulo. The township is working on a tentative plan that would cost the township much less per year than the $250 per animal contract.
Contract And Facility Details
Under the new animal control contract, municipalities will pay $250 per stray for at least the first two years of the three-year contract, and will pay a $1,250 annual fee for operating costs of the new facility. However, municipalities will receive a $250 credit for each of the first five strays brought to the facility.
For municipalities that have less than five animals a year, a credit will be given toward their annual participation fee for the following year.
The new facility will be capable of holding 45 to 55 dogs and 66 to 130 cats. No other species of animals will be accepted.
Animals must be delivered to the facility by a township's animal control officer, not by residents. Residents who find strays must take them to their municipality's animal control officer.
The Year Ahead
Come Jan. 1, the will no longer accept stray animals, the non-profit had established with the county in June.
Between Jan. 1 and the opening of the new Darby Township animal control facility, strays will be handled by the Chester County SPCA. Any issues with that contract "are all ironed out," Judge said, and he anticipated the contract, which was about 99 percent completed, to be signed by end of business Dec. 23.
Residents who find a stray cat or dog in Delaware County should first try to locate the owner. The owner of a licensed dog can be found by going to the Delaware County website. Click on the Return a Lost Dog link and enter the license type and number to access the owner's phone number.
For dogs and cats without tags, contact the animal control officer in your municipality, or call 911. Strays taken to the Chesco SPCA by residents will not be accepted.
Moving forward with the new animal control facility, the next step is to hire a construction manager and interview potential construction firms so construction on the building can get under way.
"I think we're making solid progress. It's slow going, and I'm hopeful that people understand this is only one step in a multi-step process," Judge said.