De­sign­ers ap­proved for trail, shel­ter

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - NORTHWEST ARKANSAS - HICHAM RAACHE

SPRING­DALE — De­signs will be cre­ated for a new an­i­mal shel­ter and city trail.

The City Coun­cil ap­proved with a vote of 5-1 Tues­day hir­ing de­sign­ers for a new shel­ter. Colby Fulfer was the only coun­cil mem­ber to vote against the hir­ing. Mayor Doug Sprouse cast the fifth and de­cid­ing vote be­cause coun­cil mem­bers Rick Cul­ver, Jeff Wat­son and Mike Over­ton were ab­sent.

Court­ney Kre­mer, the shel­ter’s di­rec­tor, was cau­tiously op­ti­mistic be­fore the meet­ing.

“I’m happy with the way it turned out,” Kre­mer said. “I’m just ex­cited to move for­ward and hope­fully get some good ideas for the vot­ers when the bond is­sue comes down.”

The city will pay SCM Ar­chi­tects of Lit­tle Rock $61,500 for a shel­ter con­cept and needs as­sess­ment.

Fulfer said he toured the shel­ter and rec­og­nizes the need for a new fa­cil­ity,

but was con­cerned the city would spend the money for a de­sign, but res­i­dents would later vote against pay­ing for a new an­i­mal shel­ter.

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 likely will in­clude a Crim­i­nal Jus­tice Com­plex, ren­o­va­tion to the ad­min­is­tra­tion build­ing, two to three new fire sta­tions, a north­west park and road im­prove­ment.

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

Mayor Doug Sprouse con­firmed each project up for the bond is­sue would be pre­sented on the bal­lot as a sep­a­rate ques­tion.

“My hope, the res­i­dents will ap­prove this bal­lot is­sue as well as the rest, but there is a risk there,” Sprouse said.

Al­der­man Kathy Jay­cox said it’s im­por­tant to come up with a shel­ter de­sign so to present a more thor­ough plan to vot­ers.

“That’s why I think this is a good plan,” she said.

The city needs a new shel­ter whether the bond is­sue for one passes or not, Al­der­man Jim Reed said.

The shel­ter has about 48 cages for large dogs and about 50 for cats, and some­times the an­i­mals have to be dou­bled up in cages. There are 45 dogs and 99 cats in the shel­ter, Kre­mer said.

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

The ar­chi­tects will be work­ing with an an­i­mal shel­ter plan­ning firm to develop the build­ing’s de­sign and pro­vide ac­cu­rate bud­get es­ti­mates for bond is­sue con­sid­er­a­tion, Kre­mer said.

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

A Wal­ton Fam­ily Foun­da­tion awarded the city $1,823,500 match­ing grant to pay for the first three phases of con­struc­tion on the trail. The coun­cil ap­proved the grant in Novem­ber.

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.

The trail is named af­ter Dean La­grone, an orig­i­nal mem­ber of the trails task force 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 last week.

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