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Plan to contract animal control won't save money

By Maria Altman, St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis – The city of St. Louis is pushing forward to bid a contract for sheltering animals, but the move will not save money, at lest not initially.

Earlier this week Mayor Francis Slay said the city would close its animal pound, saying it's too small and outdated.

St. Louis Health Department director Pam Walker said the city would pay a private group $550,000 a year to shelter the animals. And she said the city plans to spend another $250,000 to keep four animal control officers on city streets.

Walker said that adds up to the same amount the city now spends, but she says with this plan the city will not have to update its current facility or build another.

"What the city gains from this in the long term is a defraying of increased cost or a deterioration of the situation, so we either going to have to put more money in it because our costs keep increasing or the situation is going to continue to deteriorate," Walker said.

Bids must be in to the city by April 16th. A contractor is expected to be chosen by the following week.

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