Stamford residents are concerned about the City's animal shelter. Many expressed their concerns at a public hearing for the budget, held by the City's Planning Board Tuesday night. One of the items on this year's capital budget is the construction a new shelter that would cost $2 million, a project many residents support.
Last year, the city approved $200,000 to cover design and engineering fees for a new animal shelter. This year, the city's engineering department requested $2 million for the shelter's construction. The Planning Board's decision is the first step in the approval of the funds. Many are worried the money will be scratched from the budget because a site has not yet been chosen for the new shelter.
The animal shelter was built on Magee Ave. over 50 years ago, and Laurie Hollywood, the shelter’s director, says not having enough space for the animals is just one of many problems.
Hollywood says the shelter lacks sufficient heating, air conditioning, and necessary storage space. According to Hollywood, a toxic mist sometimes blows over from the water treatment plant next door. She says the cramped space and conditions create a stressful environment for animals and staff, and discourage visitors.
Planning Board members will make their decision after deliberation on Feb. 19. Until then, Hollywood says she will try working with the City’s Engineering Department to specify a site.
Planning Board member Todd Dumais, said 330 emails, 30 letters, and over one dozen phone calls were received as of 6 p.m. the night of the meeting.