Council chooses animal shelter siteNine choices came and went as the Superior city council sought a site for a new animal shelter. Tuesday, the 10th site was the charm. During a special committee of the whole meeting following the common council meeting, city councilors approved placing the new shelter at Bear Creek Park.
By: Maria Lockwood, Superior Telegram
Nine choices came and went as the Superior city council sought a site for a new animal shelter. Tuesday, the 10th site was the charm. During a special committee of the whole meeting following the common council meeting, city councilors approved placing the new shelter at Bear Creek Park.
“I believe it to be a wonderful spot,” said 9th District Councillor Mick MacKenzie. The city owns 13 acres of property there with access to parking and the Osaugie Trail. The animal shelter could co-exist with the park and ballfield. And, MacKenzie said, “Quite frankly, we’re running out of sites.” Without a site, the project was at a standstill.
“We’ll worry about everything else tomorrow,” said 1st District Councillor Dan Olson. “We need the site.”
Newly elected 2nd District Councilor Tom Fennessey said his constituents were in favor of the move, so long as it didn’t impact the park. The motion was amended to ensure that none of the park amenities — which include a baseball field, playground equipment, basketball court and picnic pavilion — would be lost.
Whether the building will cater solely to city animals or be a county-wide shelter is now in the hands of the Douglas County Board of Supervisors. They were scheduled to vote on an administration committee proposal to commit funding of $410,000 over a 10-year period for construction of the shelter at Thursday’s board meeting. County Board Chairman Doug Finn said the proposal will instead be referred back to the administration committee due to the city’s selection of a site.
“I think it’s a good site,” Finn said, that would be convenient for rural people. “I would like to see us work something out so we can be part of the animal shelter.”
Bear Creek Park, on the intersection of US Highway 2 and Moccasin Mike Road, is less than two miles away from the current site of the Humane Society of Douglas County. It would make sense for the city and county to join forces to run a single shelter, said humane society secretary Jean Kioski.
“Animals don’t know boundaries,” she said.
Having the shelter in such a high visibility site close to a park could encourage adoptions and volunteers, said Sandy Breitzmann with the humane society.
With a site chosen, the next step will be to organize a capital campaign to develop the funds necessary to build the facility, according to Superior Mayor Bruce Hagen. The city already has preliminary floor plans for both a proposed 6,300-square-foot shelter or, if the county joins in, a 9,600-square foot building. The city already has $2.3 million committed to construction of the shelter in bonded capital improvement dollars.
Since its inception, the goal has been to raise about $400,000 of the estimated $2.6 million in project costs from the community.