SPRINGFIELD, Mo. People living in rural parts of Greene County will soon have a service they've gone without for a number of years.
Animal control officers will soon be able to answer calls outside of Springfield city limits. The Springfield-Greene County Health Department will get $205,000 for the upcoming fiscal year.
"One of the things that's kind of hard to manage is the expectations," said Katie Towns, Assistant Director of the Springfield-Greene County Health Department.
Due to limited resources and funding, the Springfield-Greene County Health Department hasn't been able to help people living in unincorporated parts of the county for the past seven years.
"We field calls all the time and then have to say to folks unfortunately we aren't able because of the divide. There's some pockets of our community where that line is literally down the middle of the street," said Towns.
The Greene County voter approved sales tax increase will allow the health department to expand their animal control program. This includes building a bigger facility.
"If you've seen our animal shelter we could use additional capacity to serve the community and to provide a facility that meets the expectations of the community," said Towns.
Additional staff will be added to answer the additional calls for help. More equipment will also be purchased.
"It gives us a chance to respond and to provide that health and safety protection that we all know is a part offering animal control services," said Towns.
The Springfield-Greene County Health Department expects to have their extended animal control program up and running by July 1st.