After tabling the item two weeks ago because the Scotts Bluff County Commissioners felt they didn’t have enough information, the Board Monday night approved having the Chairman sign an Animal Damage Contract with USDA Wildlife Specialist Matt Anderson.
Commissioner Mark Reichert said he was assured by people Anderson had worked for that he was doing a good job of eliminating troublesome pets and animals. Reichert had previously asked Anderson to eliminate a problem for him, but the two never hooked up, and he wanted to know if Anderson was doing his job. Commissioner Ken Meyer said he was told over the last couple weeks residents appreciated Anderson’s work even though Meyer did not attend the last meeting.
The county has partnered with the USDA for 20 years in the program. But they were forced to agree to a five year agreement that calls for a five percent hike in the contract this year and four percent increases each of the next four years to bring the county’s financial cost of the program from less than $7,500 annually to over $8,700. Agreeing to one year agreements the next five years would have meant five percent hikes each year due to the state reducing their share of the cost.