Got a barking dog complaint in Star Valley?
Don’t call the county. At least not after the Town of Star Valley dropped a contract with the Gila County Sheriff’s Office and instead went with the Payson Police Department to provide law enforcement services.
You see, with sheriff deputies no longer responsible for handling animal calls, that left Gila County animal control officers responsible to answer the calls. Only problem? The nearest animal control officer is in Globe.
On Tuesday, Dec. 15, Star Valley town manager/attorney Tim Grier attended the Gila County supervisors’ meeting to get things straightened out.
Since 2009, Gila County Animal Control has provided Star Valley with animal control services during the week, with the GCSO picking up the work after hours, weekends and holidays. All of this was at no added charge to Star Valley, which had a contract with GCSO for law enforcement.
In September 2020, Star Valley dropped its contract with the GCSO and went with the Payson Police Department. However, initially the Payson Police Department said it would not be dispatching officers to after-hour, weekend or holiday calls for animal control.
Grier told the BOS on Dec. 15 he thought the plan was to negotiate a new agreement with the county, not end the existing one.
County manager James Menlove said it was Star Valley’s choice to drop its agreement with the GCSO, which had provided it with animal control services. “Which is not to say we don’t want to negotiate a contract,” he added.
District 3 Supervisor Woody Cline, who represents a large part of Star Valley, said he would like to see Star Valley work with animal control or the sheriff’s office and see what can be negotiated.
“If Star Valley needs time to come up with a contract that would serve it best, I have no problem with tabling this,” Cline said.
The item was tabled to the next meeting.
Star Valley acts
Grier told the council the Payson Police Department has agreed to provide animal control services for $3,500 a year.
“The time of response would be better service,” Grier said.
Councilor Sharon Rappaport said she was concerned about the county’s response time, “Faster is safer.”
“County services have never been good,” said Councilor George Binney. “What does Gila County do for us? (Supervisor Woody) Cline doesn’t seem to do anything. It’s amazing how underrepresented northern Gila County is going to be now that Tommie Martin is gone.”
Councilor Ray Armington responded to Binney, “Just call Mr. Cline. He responds. He is doing his best to represent Star Valley.” He then gave an example of residents wanting a traffic control sign. A call was made to Cline in the evening, and the next morning the sign was in place.
Payson Police Chief Ron Tischer said, “This will be much more seamless for residents. It is just one number to call.”
The council voted unanimously to have Payson take over animal control services for the town.