City seeking progress on animal shelter
Bids being reopened for project to build new facility that meets state standards.
After a failed bond in November 2015 and plans for a renovation were approved in May 2016, the Pflugerville Animal Shelter has yet to turn dirt on improvements that would increase space and bring a building up to state standards.
The project to improve the city’s animal shelter has faced hurdles since the council included it in a November 2015 bond election. That bond proposition failed and city staff went back to the drawing board to come up with new plans.
In May 2016, the City Council approved the first phase of improving the animal shelter, which called for demolishing some structures, including an animal intake building that is not meeting state health codes and building a new intake building.
Shelter director Rhonda McLendon said state health officials are allowing the current intake building to remain open as the city works toward building a new one. City spokeswoman Terri Toledo said the intake building’s cages and amount of natural lighting did not meet state standards.
The state reviewed and approved plans for the new intake building, and is allowing the shelter to use the current building to hold strays dogs up to five days, she said.
McLendon said shelter staff inherited the current facility, which originally was used by other city departments. “This (new building) will be the first building that’s designed as a shelter,” she said.
The city budgeted $2 million for the project, with $1.6 million of funding coming through certificates of obligation and $400,000 through city fund reserves.
Assistant City Manager Trey Fletcher said construction for the project is estimated to cost $1.7 million.
This spring, the city received only one bid for the project, which Fletcher said was over budget at about $2.2 million. Council members in May rejected the bid.
City officials now plan to reopen bidding in the next 30 days with what Fletcher called a scaled-down version of the project. Landscaping, building materials and other infrastructure will be minimized to help cut costs, he said, though he could not say how much costs would be scaled back.
The shelter project involves demolishing four structures, including leveling the animal intake building and building a new one.