Council kind to animals

Council has approved $44,500 in capital expenditures at the new animal shelter spread over six projects as part of this year’s budget.

Council has approved $44,500 in capital expenditures at the new animal shelter spread over six projects as part of this year’s budget.

In a report on the shelter, city technical services manager Wayne Sussbauer explained about $1,000 was needed for surface improvements at the water well head and that the Health ministry’s water system operational certificate had been conditional on that work being carried out.

The second item was an estimated $4,000 for exterior lights.

At present there are no lights in the exterior dog runs or outside the rear of the building. Noting workers had to go into the runs and utilize the yard area after dark during the winter months, Sussbauer described it as a worker safety issue.

Another ‘‘must do’ concerned the as-built drawings the city had to undertake. Council had pre-approved $10,000 for both handrail upgrades and the as-built drawings.

That had proved insufficient and another $6,500 was needed.

Another $10,000 was needed to bring the exterior covered area up to code.

Sussbauer said the covered area had been built over the dog runs without submitting drawings or any discussion.

As a result the occupancy permit was issued with the condition that neither the dog runs nor the back exit could be used when there was snow on the roof.

A structural engineer had looked at the covered area and indicated what needed to be done to   meet the BC Building Code and regional snow loads.

There was also another problem with the covered area – snow sliding off the roof blocked the gates to the fenced area “making use difficult without constant snow removal.”

The Humane Society had therefore requested a roof extension but the cost estimates for that were not ready as of budget time.

Sussbauer cautioned, however, that they “could be significant”.

Another request from the society was for the addition of a compound fence to allow dog exercising. The cost here would be anything from $10,000 to $30,000 depending on the size of the compound.

“The facility can operate without this enclosure, but that is not ideal,” said Sussbauer.

Finally came the cat room upgrades. Sussbauer explained the walls in the cat rooms were standard gyproc instead of concrete blocks, therefore there was a concern the cats would damage the walls.

That would in turn create a problem with cleaning – ideally the surface should be smooth and hard.

Sussbauer suggested re-panelling the walls at a cost of $8,000 should not be done at this time and the situation monitored.

Engineering director Tim Gleig also suggested painting the walls instead with a hard coat paint which he conceded may or may not be strong enough.

Moving all six items where the cost was known, councillor Randy Halyk said “You know where I stood on this project from the start”, a reference to his opposition to the new shelter.

“But we need to get this resolved now,” he explained. “We are almost there, the time has come to get this going.”

Councillor Mario Feldhoff called for division of the items which set off a somewhat chaotic back and forth at the end of which it was decided to go through the items one by one.

Feldhoff then took the ball away from Halyk by proposing approval for four items: the surface improvements, exterior lights, bringing the covered area up to code and the extra for the as-built drawings.

They all passed unanimously.

Councillor Gerd Gottschling proposed $15,000 for the compound fence which passed with only Feldhoff opposed.

Finally, Gottschling’s motion to approve $8,000 for the cat rooms squeaked through 4-3 with Corless, Feldhoff and Scott opposed.