Hi-Tor Animal Shelter Replacement: Proposed Haverstraw Site
HAVERSTRAW — The primary option to house the new Countywide Rockland Animal Sanctuary would cost significantly less than the projected $18 million price tag to build a new facility, officials said.
Haverstraw supervisor Howard Phillips said a newly built warehouse on Beach Road could cost up to $5 million to buy and could be retrofitted to accommodate stray cats, dogs, rabbits and other animals. He said the five cities could either buy the 15,000 square foot building, lease the site or enter into a lease-to-own agreement. Completion of the project would stretch to 2023.
The abandoned county plan called for the construction of a facility near the Hi-Tor Animal Center site across from the Rockland Fire Training Center near Route 45 in Ramapo. Supervisors and some county lawmakers balked at the county-led project when the projected price rose from $8 million to $18 million due to rising construction costs and other economic factors.
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“We can do something for less money than $18 million to $20 million,” Phillips said. “We have an existing building that can be retrofitted. The owner is interested in $4-5 million.”
Phillips said city supervisors will continue to work out the details. He said they will also work with County Executive Ed Day and the Hi-Tor Animal Center Board of Directors to continue operating the dilapidated facility until a deal is finalized on a new one. site.
A property in the remote Torne Valley in Ramapo has also been considered.
Hi-Tor’s contract expires on December 31. Cities are legally responsible for caring for strays, but the county had agreed years ago to provide the land and funding. Core operational funding for the nonprofit Hi-Tor Shelter comes from the cities.
After years of starts and stops, Day announced earlier this month that supervisors would take over the provision of an animal shelter, after Rockland lawmakers balked at approving an additional $10 million loan. dollars to cover the increased costs of the previous plan.
Supervisors looking for an operator
The supervisors are determined to change the direction of Hi-Tor, replacing the all-volunteer board after years of financial troubles and concerns over the treatment of animals.
Phillips said the supervisors’ plan still includes the Rockland Green operating a shelter with the Hudson Valley Humane Society, which houses stray animals at its Haverstraw facility. Rockland Green oversees countywide waste disposal and recycling. The agency’s board of directors includes the five city supervisors, county legislators, and the county executive’s office.
Before supervisors can sign an agreement for the warehouse, they need two appraisals of the value of the property. The warehouse is close to several industrial facilities, including the Joint Regional Sewerage wastewater treatment plant.
Officials said complaints from local residents about fireworks emanating from the Ramapo baseball stadium and the impact on animals played a role in moving the shelter site. Phillips said the smokehouse at the fire training center also became a factor.
“Our main concern is the lives of the animals,” Phillips said. “They are stranded and living in horrific conditions due to human neglect. We want cost-effective shelter.”
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