Mission has agreed to begin contracts with five neighboring cities to provide them animal control services.
In the wake of the dissolution of the Northeast Animal Control Commission earlier this year, Mission plans to provide animal control services to the cities of Fairway, Mission Woods, Roeland Park, Westwood and Westwood Hills. Those year-long contracts begin Jan. 1.
City administrator Laura Smith, who presented the prepared contracts for the Mission councilmembers during their finance and administration committee meeting Dec. 12, had indicated that Westwood Hills planned to participate in a contractual agreement. That agreement came up for approval in time for the council meeting Dec. 19.
Mission has already taken steps to hire two community service officers for the Mission Police Department; these two positions will be dedicated to animal control for Mission and the other cities and will also handle non-essential police functions such as parking complaints, traffic control for accidents and walk-in reports.
Councilmember Hillary Parker Thomas at the committee meeting had asked how the two civilian officers will enforce animal control codes for six different cities. Smith said the officers will be required to enforce the city code for each individual city.
“One of the provisions that you see, it asks that if (the cities) make changes to their animal control ordinances, that they advise us so that we can certainly keep up with those changes,” Smith told the council Dec. 12.
NEACC has provided animal control services to participating northeast Johnson County cities for 35 years and will dissolve after the end of this year. The commission’s decision in May to disband follows nearly four years of discussion over concerns that the joint program for animal control services no longer makes financial sense for participants.
There was no public comment or discussion from council.