Aug. 30—The City of Aiken has renewed its agreement with the animal shelter, which includes more money going to the facility.
Aiken City Council unanimously approved a memorandum of understanding with the SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare during its Aug. 23 meeting. This new MOU calls for an increase in the city's payments to the shelter, which was requested based on "the SPCA expenses and the number of animals taken to the SPCA," according to agenda documents.
The new understanding calls for the city to pay the shelter an increasing amount of money for the next three fiscal years. During the 2021-2022 fiscal year, the city will pay the SPCA $60,000 over the course of 12 monthly installments. For the 2022-2023 year, the city will pay the shelter $120,000 in monthly installments, before going up to $180,000 during the 2023-2024 fiscal year.
The city previously paid the SPCA $18,000 per year, according to City Manager Stuart Bedenbaugh.
The MOU also calls for fee increases in a few other areas. The nightly animal boarding fee charged to the city will increase to $15 from $12, while the nightly fee charged to a pet's owner if found is increasing to $25 from $20.
The pick-up fees charged to an owner when animal control picks an animal up will also increase. The fee for pickup was previously $25 for the first time, $35 for the second time, $45 for the third time and $55 for the fourth time. Those fees are increasing to $35, $45, $75 and $100, in order, for each pickup.
Aiken has long had an agreement with the center, which accepts all animals delivered to it by Aiken animal control officers and strays brought in by private citizens from within city limits.
According to 2020 data, the City of Aiken contributed 71% of the intake of animals at the SPCA.