Tentative deal calls for county to have an assistant dog warden exclusively work in Youngstown

By David Skolnick



City council will consider legislation Wednesday permitting the administration to sign a deal to have Mahoning County assign an assistant dog warden specifically to handle canine- control issues in Youngs-town.

The proposed one-year contract, to start Jan. 1, would evenly split the $71,464.95 estimated cost of an assistant dog warden exclusively dedicated to Youngstown between the county and city.

That amount includes $28,080 in annual salary, $14,516.04 in health insurance, $12,610.80 for vehicle costs, $4,000 for overtime, $5,000 in costs for additional help, and the rest for retirement, Medicare, workers’ compensation, life insurance, and uniform and cellphone expenses.

The tentative deal would have one person handling dog services at least 40 hours a week, with the work primarily done between 1 and 9:30 p.m. seven days a week.

The department currently has four full-time assistant dog wardens and would have one of them exclusively handle the city, said Diane Fry, the county dog warden.

Another assistant warden could be hired in the future if the need arises, Fry said.

About 75 percent to 80 percent of the county dog warden calls are in Youngstown, she said.

“This should work out well for us and the city,” Fry said.

The city had a similar contract for a couple of years about a decade ago, but didn’t renew it.

“It’s a quality-of-life issue,” said Councilman Nate Pinkard, D-3rd, chairman of the legislative body’s safety committee.

“The need is there, and hiring someone in-house would cost us a lot more,” said Councilman John R. Swierz, D-7th, a safety committee member.

The safety committee agreed Monday to sponsor the dog warden legislation at Wednesday’s city council meeting. The ordinance would authorize the board of control to negotiate and enter into a contract with the county dog warden.

City Law Director Anthony Farris negotiated the tentative deal with the county. Farris sits on the board of control with Mayor Charles Sammarone and Finance Director David Bozanich.

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