When Jim Gensler decided to retire at the end of 2008, he provided the town of Van Buren with an opportunity to save money.
Gensler was Van Buren's dog control officer. Prior to his retirement, Van Buren officials were contracting with the town of Camillus for kennel services, an arrangement initiated by Van Buren Supervisor Claude Sykes that had been in place since January of 2008.
"Since we had enjoyed a good relationship with Camillus for the kennel service, we looked to Camillus to take over all dog control services for the town of Van Buren," Sykes said about Gensler's decision to retire.
After researching dog control needs in both Van Buren and Camillus, it was decided the arrangement was feasible and cost effective, so the municipalities entered into an agreement.
"We met and reviewed the number of calls and complaints and Camillus decided that their staff had some excess capacity that would allow them to cover the town of Van Buren," Sykes said.
Camillus began handling both towns' dog control needs on Jan. 1. The arrangement costs the town of Van Buren $30,000 annually (paid in a lump sum) for work done in Van Buren by the Camillus dog control officer.
Sykes said the intermunicipal agreement saves the town of Van Buren $40,000 annually because the town no longer employs a dog control officer or contracts with a private kennel. The town also saves because there are no vehicle maintenance, mileage or benefit costs.
"This program has been working exceptionally well," Sykes said. "I have not had one dog control call since Jan. 1. Camillus is doing a great job."
The town of Camillus recently purchased a new dog control van with "Camillus-Van Buren Municipal Dog Control" printed on the side.