Shelter decision contingent on cost analysis

Sunday Times Newspapers

ALLEN PARK – A final decision on the city’s animal shelter is due after councilors see a cost-estimate for repairs for it at their next meeting.

The report, to be compiled by Interim Police Chief James Wilkewitz and shelter manager Kalin Turri was ordered by councilors after Turri and Wilkewitz approached the council Nov. 22 to suggest that the shelter be closed and services be contracted to Romulus after a report from the Michigan Department of Agriculture revealed repairs – including replacement of the air conditioning unit and floor and kennel fence repairs – they said would push the shelter, which breaks even with $37,000 in revenue every year, into the red.

But after a review of the report, Councilors called that assertion “misleading,” and suggested alternate methods for repairs, including epoxy instead of sandblasting for the floors, solicitation of material donations from area businesses, and volunteer labor from community members.

In a meeting Dec. 8 with a Department of Agriculture representative, City Administrator John Zech said the three main issues to be addressed were the shelter’s cement floor, which must be covered with a nonporous material to prevent seepage from animal waste, uncovered lights, and the creation of an isolation area for pets with communicable diseases. He also said he had secured an extension for the repairs for May. The original deadline was last week.

The council next meets at 7 p.m. Tuesday.