PFLUGERVILLE, Texas (KXAN) — In November, Pflugerville voters narrowly rejected a $10.7 million plan for a new animal shelter, and now the city council is trying to see what can be done to help their current facility.
Mayor Jeff Coleman says after the bond failed, he asked the City Manager and staff to help prepare a new plan that would allow the city to continue using the current shelter.
On Tuesday, city council members discussed the plan.
“I think the plan they came up with is definitely a start,” said Mayor Coleman. “We know we had some buildings that aren’t up to the standards that we think need to be there. This plan talked about getting rid of those buildings. We know we needed more space, this plan created more space for our animals.”
About 48 new kennels, he says.
The Mayor also adds that the plan takes into account long-term needs for the growing city.
“As the City of Pflugerville grows and we continue to need more space for animals, we have existing ability to expand with new buildings, with a new access point off of Pecan, with the dog park. It creates a plan over the next three to 10 years to be moving towards.”
Mayor Coleman says he was opposed to the bond because of the $10.7 million price tag. He says the initial phase of the new plan would cost $2 million.
To pay for it, the City Manager has recommended issuing Certificate of Obligation Bonds, which are bonds that do not require citizen approval.
Pflugerville citizen, Danny Vinzant, spoke against the proposal on Tuesday night.
“Very disappointed that City Council did not form a committee made up of volunteers, who volunteer at the shelter countless hours per week – get their input, have any kind of public hearing. They just presented a plan that had no public input at all after this failed $10.7 million.”
Vinzant believes voters didn’t say not to a new shelter, just to the steep price tag. He believes the city needs a new shelter, and that it can be built for a fraction of the proposed bond.
“This has to have community involvement, the volunteers involvement, and let the people decide, ‘Where do we need to go? Can it still be moved?’ To me, that is still a very viable option,” said Vinzant.
Vinzant was the only one who spoke at the meeting, but others in favor of a new shelter were in attendance.
Another idea council touched on was utilizing Williamson County’s animal shelter. Mayor Coleman says they have a relatively new state-of-the-art facility, and they’ve approached the county to see whether it makes sense for the City of Pflugerville to enter into a partnership. But he says the county has not yet responded.
The Mayor asked planners to come back with more details on the new proposal in January, so that council can make final decision prior to issuing debt, which will likely be done in late February, March.