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Dog license rates going up in Bedford

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By Tom Wilmoth

Owning a dog in Bedford just got a little more expensive.

    At its meeting Tuesday, City Council approved, an a unanimous vote, an ordinance increasing dog license fees for the upcoming year.
    The new fees will include:
    • altered dogs — $5 rate, up from $3;
    • male and female dogs — $10 rate, up from $5;
    • kennel tags up to 10 — $35 rate, up from $25;
    • kennel tags over 10 — $70 rate, up from $50;
    • hobbyist up to 10 — $35 rate, up from $25;
    • hobbyist over 10 — $70 rate, up from $50.
    During budget discussions this past year, council discussed the rate increases and those were factored into the budget. The increase goes into effect for the sale of dog tags that begins on Jan. 1.
    Vice Mayor Robert Wandrei, during discussion on the fees, also suggested the city look into limiting the number of dogs that a resident can have in a residential area.

    In other action Tuesday:
    Council approved an increase to the city’s monthly contribution toward the cost of health care insurance for city employees from $370.70 per month to $443 per month through the rest of the current fiscal year. Most city employees currently participate in the city’s health care plan, but those who don’t will also receive similar compensation. Council had discussed the issue during a work session last month as a way to reward employees for their hard work in helping keep costs down. That has included taking on additional work as positions in the city were not filled as they became open. Bedford Mayor Skip Tharp said the action was a way to let city employees know their efforts have been appreciated. “This is city council’s way to say thank you for a job well done,” he said. “They have worked hard and there are not many ways we can say thank you to our staff.” The cost will be about $45,000.
    • Council set its reorganizational meeting for Monday, Jan. 3 at 6 p.m.