Com­mit­tee rec­om­mends an­i­mal shel­ter, trail de­sign­ers

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - RECORDS - HICHAM RAACHE Hicham Raache can be reached by email at hraache@nwadg.com or Twit­ter @NWAHicham.

SPRING­DALE — De­sign con­tracts have been rec­om­mended for a new an­i­mal shel­ter and trail.

The City Coun­cil Com­mit­tee rec­om­mended Mon­day the City Coun­cil hire SCM Ar­chi­tects of Lit­tle Rock to de­sign a new shel­ter and $61,500 be paid to the firm for the con­cep­tual de­sign and needs as­sess­ment.

“It will get us vi­su­als for us to look at,” Mayor Doug Sprouse said.

City lead­ers hope to in­clude a new shel­ter in a bond is­sue for vot­ers next year. Wy­man Morgan, the city’s di­rec­tor of fi­nance, es­ti­mates res­i­dents will be asked to vote in Fe­bru­ary or March. City lead­ers hope the shel­ter will be among many projects in the bond is­sue, which also likely will in­clude a Crim­i­nal Jus­tice Com­plex, ren­o­va­tion to the ad­min­is­tra­tion build­ing, two to three new fire sta­tions, a north­west park and road im­prove­ments.

The bond would be a con­tin­u­a­tion of a sales tax the city levied in 2004, said Morgan.

The shel­ter has around 48 cages for large dogs and about 50 for cats, and some­times the an­i­mals have to be dou­bled up in cages. Cur­rently there are 47 dogs and 85 cats in the shel­ter, said Court­ney Kre­mer, shel­ter di­rec­tor.

“Right now I got dogs that have been in there since Fe­bru­ary or March,” Kre­mer said.

The shel­ter also lacks suf­fi­cient ven­ti­la­tion, which cre­ates a risk of sick­ness spread­ing among the an­i­mals, Kre­mer said.

“An an­i­mal shel­ter re­ally is des­per­ately needed,” said Alder­woman Kathy Jay­cox.

Al­der­man Colby Fulfer sug­gested Spring­dale try to work out a deal with Wash­ing­ton County’s shel­ter to use its avail­able space to al­le­vi­ate the Spring­dale ca­pac­ity. How­ever, Kre­mer said the county shel­ter doesn’t have the means to ab­sorb 2,500 ad­di­tional an­i­mals a year.

Sprouse said the city needs to in­vest in a new shel­ter in­stead of try­ing to send its an­i­mals out of town.

“I think there’s cer­tain things you own and we’re bet­ter off own­ing this,” he said.

The com­mit­tee also rec­om­mended hir­ing Fayet­teville-based en­gi­neer­ing firm Garver to de­sign Dean’s Trail and to pay the firm $65,500.

The City Coun­cil ap­proved a grant from the Wal­ton Fam­ily Foun­da­tion in Novem­ber to help pay for the trail. The foun­da­tion awarded a $1,823,500 match­ing grant for the first three phases of con­struc­tion on the trail.

The lighted trail will be 5 miles and run along the east side of Spring­dale, be­gin­ning at The Jones Cen­ter, cross­ing through the in­dus­trial area and the neigh­bor­hoods sur­round­ing Par­son Hills Ele­men­tary School. It then will cross Robin­son Av­enue at Ori­ole Street, con­nect­ing Kelley Mid­dle School and Knapp Ele­men­tary School, con­tinue south to the tun­nel un­der Don Tyson Park­way and end at a con­nec­tion to Fayet­teville’s trail sys­tem.

“This is a big trail that’s go­ing to con­nect a lot of dif­fer­ent places in our city,” Jay­cox said.

The trail will be named af­ter Dean La­grone, an orig­i­nal mem­ber of the trails task force who was in­stru­men­tal in de­ter­min­ing the need and lo­ca­tion of the trail.

Money paid to both SCM Ar­chi­tects and Garver for de­sign ser­vices will come from the Cap­i­tal Im­prove­ment Project Fund, Morgan said.

The fund has about $2 mil­lion of unded­i­cated money. The money comes mostly from lo­cal sales tax, but is also made up of mis­cel­la­neous in­come, such as profit from prop­erty in­vest­ment, Morgan said.

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