Proposed animal control shelter still behind 8 ball

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By Jim Perry
Managing Editor
Cushing’s proposed animal control shelter is overdue. Long overdue, if you ask members of the Cushing Board of Commissioners.
“Our window of opportunity to do this project is so long overdue given the economic climb a few year ago compared to today,” said Terry Brannon, former chairman of the board.
“It is still a working project,” said current chairman Don Amon. “The project received bids that exceeded our budget and the city manager was working to get those bids down into the budgeted area.”
Brannon said the project lacks funding.
“The bids for the shelter far exceeded the budgeted amount of $185,000.”
According to Cushing charter, should the city commission opt to increase the shelter’s budget, it would take a vote of the people. Any item purchased or created for more than $185,000 requires a public vote.
Commissioners a year ago tabled further action on the shelter because “bids were way over projections,” Brannon said.
The lowest of four bids was $375,661 by CEI Inc. The highest was $462,960 by Sagemill Construction. All four were opened in January 2016.
The proposed budget for the 1,520-square-foot project is $185,000.
The proposed shelter would be on Maitlen Drive near the city’s water treatment plant.
Dr. Gary Detrich, a member of the Cimarron Valley Humane Society, said he knows of multiple tracts of land near Main Street that could be donated to the city.
Detrich also said about $50,000 is in an account for the completion of an animal shelter.
Detrich said he would like to see the CVHS more involved and suggested a shared facility. “Mostly what I’m asking is, ‘Can we buy a little time?’” he said to commissioners.
“There was much work behind the scenes to try and find cost savings by doing work internally, and then outsourcing the major work,” Brannon said. “At this moment, it is still a project I think we would like to do.”
Highlights of the proposed facility, Brannon said, are public friendliness, total enclosure and temperature controlled, a room dedicated for cats, 10 kennels for dogs.