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Local News

March 13, 2013

Split Council awards bid for animal shelter

GREENVILLE — A split Greenville City Council voted Tuesday to award a bid for renovations to the city’s animal shelter.

Director of Public Works Massoud Ebrahim told the Council the work was long overdue.

“The current animal shelter has reached and far exceeded its life expectancy,” Ebrahim said. “We have been talking about this project for a long time.”

But several of the Council members questioned not only the cost of the project, but whether it would be enough.

“I just don’t know if this is a short term fix to what are going to be long term problems,” said Mayor Steve Reid.

Mayor Pro Tem Jeff Dailey agreed, noting that most of the contract would involve replacing the offices at the shelter.

“We’re not getting a new animal shelter,” Dailey said. “We’re getting a new office building, and we need one, but are we getting the most bang for our buck?”

The Council voted 4-3 Tuesday to award the almost $670,000  bid to Concord Commercial Services, Inc. of Balch Springs. Reid, Dailey and Sandra Linson-Bell voted against the ordinance.

The project would tear down the existing animal control office building, add an office area to the existing dog kennel area, update the heating/ventilation/air conditioning (HVAC) and renovate the dog kennel area and the isolation building.

Ebrahim said the office building is in need of demolition due to cracks in the walls and floors and that the new construction would provide a nicer office area for citizens to adopt, reclaim, and surrender animals to the shelter.

Updating the HVAC inside the shelter is also expected to create more frequent air exchanges to help control the odor problem and benefit the health of the animals in the shelter.

“Basically, it is going to be a facility that is going to help the staff do their work,” Ebrahim said.

The project was first bid in May 2011 and received a lowest base bid of $499,491. The project was rebid in January, with the low bid of $667,372 from Concord Commercial Services.

Dailey said while the work was needed, he repeated earlier objections to the cost of the project rising some 33 percent in less than two years.

But Council member Dan Perkins pointed out the offer from Concord Commercial Services was the lowest of seven bids received on the project.

“It’s not like we only had one person bidding,” Perkins said.

Ebrahim explained the last renovation work performed on the shelter was approved in 1994.

“It has been almost 20 years that we haven’t done anything,” Ebrahim said.

City Manager Steve Alexander said, provided there is no major growth spurt in Greenville during the interim, that the shelter could be viable for another 20 years.

“It certainly is a reflection on our community,” Alexander said.

The funds for the renovation were included among the almost  $2.4 million in certificates of obligation the Council agreed to issue last month.

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