St. Clair officials have decided against selling the city’s dog kennel and pet shelter facility because, in part, they do not believe they will get their money’s worth out of it.
The board of aldermen discussed the building and its potential future when it met last week.
City Administrator Rick Childers said a private resident had contacted him about purchasing the structure, which at one time was used as a shelter for dogs and cats.
“It’s currently not in use,” Childers said during the April 16 meeting. “This individual wants to purchase it from us, dismantle it and move it off our property. He called to see if we were interested, then called back again. I told him I would talk to our board about it.”
The kennel is located near the city’s wastewater treatment plant on Happy Sac Road near the intersection of Highway AB. It is made of concrete block with a few kennel runs on one side.
Currently, the city contracts animal control with Franklin County. Any animals picked up in the city are brought to the shelter in Union.
“Is it more of a benefit to keep it than sell it?” Ward 2 Alderman Barb McGlenn asked. “Would we need it for a future use?”
Aldermen discussed whether it would be best to keep the shelter in case the city would ever need to use it in the future. They also wondered how the individual would dismantle and remove it since the building is made of concrete. Officials also were curious as to how much the city spent to build it and how much money would be offered to buy it.
“It was pretty expensive,” Childers said. “If we would ask for anything close to what we paid for it, there probably would be no interest.”
Mayor Ron Blum said he believed the city should hold onto it.
“We always can use it for storage,” he said. “My opinion is we need to keep it.”
Ward 1 Alderman Zach Fuchs agreed.
“I wouldn’t think we’d want to spend that money again if we were to need a shelter,” he said.
Childers told the board he would contact the individual who inquired about it and inform him the city isn’t interested in selling the shelter.
Aldermen also spent a little time discussing whether to renew an annual contract with Patton’s Nursery to provide maintenance of City Park located along South Main Street. Currently, the contract the city has with the local business calls for a $550 monthly payment, which totals $6,600 for the year.
The contract runs from April to April.
“I have a hard time recommending that this contract be extended,” Childers said. “I think we (the city) could do a lot with $6,600.”
The Patton’s Nursery contract calls for the business at 785 N. Commercial Ave. to maintain the park and provide services including cleanup, mulch, weed and insect prevention, fertilizer and trimming. The cost includes all materials and labor.
Fuchs recommended the city put the park’s maintenance contract out for bid to see what other prices may be offered. Blum and the other aldermen agreed.
“We have considerable investment in our downtown park,” the mayor said. “It looks nice, and I would like it to be continued to be maintained. But, I think the contract should be restructured.”
“I would feel much more comfortable doing that,” Ward 2 Alderman Travis Dierker said in response.
McGlenn recommended getting a maintenance schedule for any contract so the city knows what work is being done when.
“We need to make sure we know what all is getting done,” she said.
Blum and Childers cautioned, however, that current city staff does not have enough time to maintain the park. The city administrator said some mowing services were contracted out earlier to free more time for public works employees to do other things.
“I think the best way to go about it is to look at costs and put it out to bid,” Fuchs said. “Let’s do that and see what comes back.”