Thursday May 24, 2007
$1.1 Million for Design & Construction in Proposed Budget
Mayor Jerry Abramson today announced the site for the city’s new animal shelter and his commitment to include $1.1 million in the upcoming budget plan to design and begin construction on the project.
The mayor’s budget also includes funding for two new animal control officers and an adoption coordinator.
“This budget continues my commitment to improve public safety and improve customer service for our residents,” Abramson said. “I am confident the new central location will help us increase the number of animals adopted and decrease the time it takes us to respond to service calls in every corner of this community.”
The shelter for Louisville Metro Animal Services will be constructed on city property located at 3520 Newburg Road, just outside the Watterson Expressway.
Last year, Abramson pledged $4 million over four years to construct the new animal shelter complex. The fiscal year 2006-07 budget included $750,000 for purchasing property. Since the new shelter is being built on existing city property, Metro Animal Services will pay $400,000 to have a Metro Public Works District located at Newburg moved to an existing city property at 617 Outer Loop. Metro Animal Services will have $350,000 of that previous allotment left to put toward the cost of a new facility.
Abramson’s proposed fiscal year 2007-08 budget includes the additional $1.1 million in capital for the new facility, bringing the total for design and construction to $1.45 million.
A request for design proposal will be issued within the next 30 days. The Public Works facility will be moved to the Outer Loop by fall. Construction on the new adoption center will begin before the end of the year. The adoption center should be open to the public by 2008.
The complex will be built in phases after the adoption center. The next building on the drawing board would be the medical center, followed by an education wing and the animal control operations. The facility on Manslick Road will remain open until the entire facility is constructed. Construction is expected to take five years.
Operating Budget Doubles – Adds New Officers
The proposed fiscal year 2007-08 budget also includes new dollars for new positions in the agency.
The mayor increased the operating budget by $300,000 to hire three additional employees and cover other personnel costs within the agency, such as rising pension costs, staff raises and increased health insurance premiums.
Since 2004, the operating budget for Louisville Metro Animal Services has almost doubled. The staff has increased 25% since 2005.
Investments in Animal Services
In addition to the new facility and personnel, since merger Abramson has helped update the department’s equipment and technology.
“The investments we’ve made have taken Metro Animal Services from a pencil and paper agency, to a professional department that can now track trends, data and response times with sophisticated software,” Abramson said.
Investments since merger include:
- Radio System
- Full-time veterinarian
- Education/Volunteer coordinator
- Spay/Neuter program
- S.P.O.T. (Step Pet Overpopulation Today) mobile clinic
- Air-conditioned transports that increase efficiency when picking up animals
- Safety gear for officers, including catchpoles and tranquilization kits
Last year, Louisville Metro Animal Services responded to more than 23,000 calls for service and took in more than 14,000 animals.