Designers approved for trail, shelter
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.