STANTON – The Montcalm County Board of Commissioners is reconsidering operating Animal Control with only two officers.
Former Animal Control Director Patricia Lentz’s position was eliminated Sept. 26 as part of $1.3 million in county budget cuts.
Commissioners previously voted to hire a part-time shelter assistant to help Animal Control Officer Angie Sova, who is currently in charge of the office. Then they voted to change the job description to a part-time officer who would handle complaints as well.
On Monday, District 3 Commissioner Ron Retzloff said he still has “a few concerns” about how commissioners are planning to staff the department. He believes the shelter should have an employee on site for at least 10 hours per week to help walk-in visitors and officers should be handling complaints.
“I think we need someone other than an officer in that office to deal with the public coming in,” Retzloff said. “Right now I think we’re taking too many steps backward with Animal Control.”
Retzloff made a motion to hire a kennel assistant. However, District 2 Commissioner Tom Lindeman recommended waiting until Controller-Administrator Chris Hyzer returns from vacation this week before voting on anything.
“I think we’ve given Mr. Hyzer the responsibility for that department and I think it’s very important that he be involved in that,” Lindeman said.
Commissioners agreed to table the issue until Hyzer returns.
The issue will be discussed at the next Law Enforcement & Courts Committee meeting, per District 4 Commissioner John Johansen’s request.
“I think it might be good to vet it as much as we can,” said Johansen of any new hires.
The open Animal Control officer position has been posted. The 25-hour per week job requires a high school diploma or equivalent. The officer will earn a wage of $14.58 to $17.26 per hour.
The county is accepting applications until 4:30 p.m. Wednesday.