New Providence Council approved a shared agreement with Summit and Westfield on Monday night for animal control services.
New Providence entered into a contract with Animal Control Solutions, LLC earlier this year and their “reports are good, the service is good, and they work well with our police force,” Councilman Bob Robinson said. This shared six-month agreement with the same company will cost $13,300 for New Providence.
For the original agreement, Robinson said that the borough asked for a list of services. "They gave us an A, B and C list. New Providence didn’t feel we needed all of the services so we chose the B list, which had everything we needed and was more cost effective,” Robinson explained to council members. "Summit and Westfield looked at this company after we got on and said this was a really good company. So Summit and Westfield would like to join this.”
Robinson said this shared agreement will provide even more services than New Providence was originally receiving, at no extra cost. Come December, when the contract will be close to expiring, the Board of Health will then have to explore options for animal control services.
“Next year, it’s all up in the air so the Board of Health is going to have to make sure they protect New Providence in the next discussion,” Robinson said.
Borough Administrator Doug Marvin said when the borough had an agreement with Associated Humane Society in Newark for animal control services, it cost the New Providence about $28,000 per year. Plus, an earlier agreement with St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center cost the borough even more than that.
The original agreement with Animal Control Services cost $1,900 per month.
“So we continue to whittle away at it to the point that it gets somewhat reasonable. Frankly, we don’t have a lot of animal control issues in New Providence and to be blunt, I’m sometimes offended to have to pay $1,900 a month for a service that [we didn’t use] for that month. But there’s a comfort level from the Board of Health’s perspective with regard to having this company available for these types of incidents.”
Councilman Jim Cucco suggested the council receive copies of the reports for any animal control incidents, which could be used for negotiation purposes if the Board of Health tries to establish another agreement with Animal Control Solutions once the current agreement expires.
Marvin said he can likely get the reports and will post them on the portal that council members use on the borough’s web site.