Animal control reopening with new contract
Bloomfield Township trustees unanimously approved a $14,400 annual intergovernmental contract between the city of Birmingham and the township for animal control housing and services, at their meeting on Tuesday, May 26. Approval of the resolution allows for the reopening of Bloomfield Township's animal control services, which had been closed at the end November 2019, due to budget constraints following voters rejecting a $2.3 mill special assessment district (SAD) that would have been dedicated to public safety in August 2019. Bloomfield Township Police Chief Phil Langmeyer explained the agreement with Birmingham came about after the township was approached by the Birmingham Police Department in January “about the ability to use our building, and we said we had to wait until we had our millage in March. Then we got hit by COVID.” The agreement between the two municipalities will take effect July 1, 2020, with each municipalities picking up and transferring animals to the township's Animal Welfare Center, where they will be lodged, fed and held, for up to 10 days. In addition, the township will permit Birmingham to dispose of wild animal carcasses at their site. Birmingham will pay Bloomfield Township $14,400 annually, plus veterinary costs if animals are ill and need to be taken to a vet, and $35 per day for any animal that is impounded at animal welfare. Langmeyer said previous to the animal control closure, the township had two full-time officers staffing it. One left the township, the other was reassigned duties, and he will be reassigned to animal control. In addition, the township police department will hire a part-time clerk who will work five days a week, Monday through Friday, four hours a day, to take care of the animals. “On weekends, the patrol division will feed and clean up the animals,” Langmeyer said. He noted there is a greater savings to the township than just the $14,400, because previously there had been a full-time employee, a position which is not being filled at this time. Both Langmeyer and township supervisor Leo Savoie pointed out the biggest issue is not lost dogs, which are usually reunited with their owners very quickly, but taking care of all of the wildlife in Bloomfield Township, like deer that is killed and left on the side of the road. “When we didn't have animal welfare, we had to wait for the county,” Savoie said.