City split on pound plans

THE community is divided over a council decision to allocate more than half-a-million dollars towards building a new pound in Griffith.

While some say the move has not come soon enough, others feel the money could be better spent elsewhere.

Councillors agreed last Tuesday night to include $42,000 in the 2014/15 draft budget for plans for the new pound, and $508,000 in the 2015/16 draft budget to construct the facility. 

Rescue charity Needy Paws created public outcry over the state of the pound last year and refused to accept any more animals until something was done.

Council executive services manager Shireen Donaldson said unfortunately, this was the fastest council could work through the process.

“We’ll just have to operate as best we can with the facilities we have,” Mrs Donaldson said.

“It would not be financially sound to do renovations on what we already have, there are too many problems to fix it with a Band-Aid solution.”

The new pound will not be constructed until at least 2015 and is expected to be built adjacent to the existing facility, which will be demolished.

Deputy mayor Doug Curran, who heads the Facilities Management Committee, said councillors were unaware of how bad the situation at the pound had become. 

“Unfortunately this wasn’t in the 10-year projection because we didn’t know how bad it was,” Councillor Curran said.

“In reality, this has been pretty quick for local government and something else will have to miss out for this to go in.

“We’d love to do it earlier but there are a lot of things we have to take into account.”

Ken Rebetzke from Needy Paws was still unhappy with the resolution and said many animals could become sick before the new facility was built.

“It’s not good enough because it doesn’t address the immediate issues,” Mr Rebetzke said.

“They need to remove the concrete because it is trapping Parvo virus and they have to build new shelters that protect the animals from the heat and cold.”

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