Animal shelter work blowing budget and deadlines

Animal shelter work blowing budget and deadlines

The concrete foundation for the Scituate Animal Shelter expansion project was poured in November of 2018, but progress came to a halt when the former council members, the so-called “Independent Men,” were ousted from office. The Town Council created an Animal Shelter Building Committee to complete the project, which may run up to $100,000 over budget. (Breeze photo by Jacquelyn Moorehead)

SCITUATE – Another town project started by the “Independent Men” on the former Town Council is over its budget and late, says Town Council member Charles Collins.

A 30-foot-by-30-foot expansion on the Scituate Animal Shelter was approved last September, but, as with the Scituate Police Station project, construction stopped when members of the former council were voted out of office two months later.

Collins said the foundation for the addition was poured last November, and no progress has been made on the building since.

“Everything came to a grinding halt after the last election. Everything just stopped, the same thing with the police station,” Collins said.

The previous council set aside $50,000 for the shelter and expected approximately $50,000 in money from a local resident who donated his home to the shelter after his death.

Unfortunately, Collins said, the home brought in less than expected, at $35,000.

“They thought they were going to get a big windfall from the estate sale,” Collins said.

After pouring the foundation, Collins said there is approximately $77,000 left in funding for the renovations.

“We could be up to $100,000 short,” he said.

The long-needed upgrades will create space for new offices, with the existing entryway used to revamp the meet-and-greet space for people to get to know their potential pets. The exterior of the building will be done as well, with plans to replace the moss-covered concrete exterior of the shelter with vinyl siding.

Animal Control Director Pat Howarth said getting the kittens and pregnant cats out from a small water heater closet and into a different room in the shelter is another important aspect of the renovations.

Collins said estimates to complete the building are at $180,000. The self-professed animal lover said he believes whatever the cost may be, people tend to support the animal shelter’s fundraisers.

He said with estimates to finish the police station over-budget, he does not want to do the same with the animal shelter. At the same time, he said it’s important to get the job done as quickly and cost-effectively as possible.

“We’re going do it, and we’re going to do it right,” Collins said.

Since the new council put together a new five-member Animal Shelter Building Committee to finish the job, the committee began meeting in early June, sending out two requests for proposals for radiant heating and the concrete floor on June 28.

As with the police station, committee members plan on hiring a general contractor rather than completing the build themselves.

Collins said plans are being drawn and donated by one of the committee volunteers, and will soon be finalized, stamped by an engineer, and presented to the town for approval.

“Once the plans are done and the council is up to speed, sooner rather than later we’ll put out (a request) to bid the project,” Collins said.

Collins said the board is deciding between block or wood for the building, with wood costing dramatically less than block, which will last longer.