(AUGUSTA,GA) Commissioner Sean Frantom is no fan of registration fees for Augusta pet owners.
“The taxpayers are feeling a lot of different burdens with storm water with the 22 percent increase in 2014 that was kind of the factor,” said Frantom.
The proposal called for 50 dollar annual fee for pets that hadn’t been fixed commissioners voted to reduce that to just ten dollars, and nothing if you pet has been fixed.
The higher fee was proposed to encourage owners to get their pets fixed.
And to bring in revenue for spay and neutering at the shelter
But that was before commissioners decided to lower the fees.
“It’s deluded it because those fees were just for particularly spay and neuter to get people to spay and neuter their animals zero fee five dollars ten dollars it’s ridiculous,” says Dorothy Williams a member of the Augusta Animal Services Advisory Board.
But Frantom argues no fees are needed because commissioners voted to change who gets the money from the pet fee and fines.
“We’re now moving funds that were outside the ordinance that normally went to the General Fund now they’re going to the animal services fund 150 thousand,” says Frantom
In their lengthy re-writing of the proposal Commissioners also took out mandatory micro-chipping but in the end this is what it took to get a new pet policy approved.
“Removing micro-chipping was not good but in the end 90 percent of it passed and that’s a huge step forward,” says Williams.
Commissioners rejected a plan to take 20 thousand dollars from this year’s contingency budget for a spay and neuter education program at the shelter. Frantom says he’ll try again to get that approved when commissioners hold the second reading of the ordinance in two weeks