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$6.2 Million Sought for Projects, Including Attleboro Animal Shelter, Athletic Complex

Public Hearings on the loan requests will take place Jan. 15 at City Hall.

Mayor Kevin Dumas formally requested in his written communications this week that the City Council approve nearly $6.2 million in loans to the city of Attleboro for major projects. The funding will cover the new outdoor athletic complex at Attleboro High School ($3.55 million), the new animal shelter ($1.116 million) and an upgrade of the computer control system at the city's water treatment plant ($1.523 million).

The requests were referred to the Budget & Appropriations Committee, chaired by Councilor Brian Kirby, for review and a recommendation to the full council. Public hearings on the requests will take place before the full council and the planning board at City Hall on Jan. 15 at 7 p.m.

The school and school building committees approved a schematic design for the athletic complex from Weymouth-based Gale and Associates last month. The project will include the replacement of the deteriorated track that is considered unsafe by all reasonable standards, replacement of the grass field with a synthetic surface and a new press box. Separate funding for a concession stand is expected to come from private donations.

"Although there will certainly be adjustments in individual item costs after final design, and construction costs cannot be truly known until the project is bid in the spring, I believe the city can and should show its support by approving this bond authorization," Dumas wrote. 

The 3,600-square-foot animal shelter would replace the smaller facility on Pond Street North with various modern amenities. The council voted unanimously in June to spend up to $50,000 for the design of the project. Dumas wrote that the design phase is complete. 

paul January 04, 2013 at 09:09 PM
Seekonk is right on Pond Street, but we must have our own shelter. It makes no sense building brand new shelters in every city and town in the area. We should be sharing these types of services, it's just common sense. Any sick or non adoptable animal should be put down fast. Enough trying to save every critter and housing Pit Bulls for years on the taxpayers dime!
deb of see-attleboro January 04, 2013 at 11:09 PM
I also think a regional approach to animal control would most benefit our furry friends.
Gretchen Robinson January 04, 2013 at 11:48 PM
paul: I'm glad your view is not shared by others. Rocco in Mansfield who was killed while being retrained and could have been sent to a specialized shelter. He never had a chance because he was sent to live with a woman who was pregnant and didn't have the time, and probably the experience. Please don't be so quick to judge.
Gretchen Robinson January 04, 2013 at 11:51 PM
I think the critics are myopic. Like the people who work in animal care and others who volunteer have never thought of a regional approach? They never thought of combining shelters? Of course they must have. Do you know the history? I don't but Roxanne just added that the plans could not be shared. Of course, they have to be site specific!!
Roxanne Houghton January 05, 2013 at 12:38 AM
Regional shelters are a nightmare and are rejected by almost every city and town. Those regional shelters end up with hundreds of animals at a time - just not manageable. At one time I helped out a regional shelter. It was a sad and overwhelming place. There was a smoke stack in the building that emitted smoke, every Wednesday. The smoke was emitted from the crematorium - as hundreds of animal were destroyed and cremated every month. This is something that I will never forget or accept as a solution for Attleboro. This is not who we are, and this is what happens when you build a shelter to house hundreds of animals at a time. The people who are railing about all the taxpayers money that is spent on Attleboro animals have no idea whatsoever what they are talking about. Almost all of the food is donated by generous people and businesses and almost all of the medical care for our animals is paid for by money that is privately raised by the wonderful volunteer group. I would challenge you to go to the accounting office at City Hall and educate yourself.
Roxanne Houghton January 05, 2013 at 12:49 AM
Regarding the new track and field - both are needed. We have spent a lot of tax dollars (well spent) on baseball and other sports fields. Not every "kid" is a football or baseball player. Track and field events are just as important. Read the paper and see what is happening with our kids today.....sports are a healthy outlet for them. This track and field is an investment in our kids, just as important as an education. For many many years, Attleboro was like a city that time forgot - stuck in the dark ages. The Mayor is trying to move Attleboro forward into this century, and yes, this costs money. Like it or not, we are all going to pay taxes and we should have a city that we can be proud of to show for it. The animal shelter and our track and field area are both an embarrassment and I for one am happy to see my tax dollars spent there - better there than a lot of other places.
deb of see-attleboro January 05, 2013 at 09:34 AM
Of course plans can't be shared! Ethically and morally that would be wrong. But this is not the same as a regional approach.
deb of see-attleboro January 05, 2013 at 09:40 AM
A regional approach would work if people wanted it to work. And I am not suggesting Attleboro should necessarily be included in the picture. So relax.
paul January 05, 2013 at 02:42 PM
Fury friends, give me a break. As a taxpayer for over 30 years I'm sick and tired of paying for other peoples hobbies and wants. We already pay for unwanted children in ghettos across this country. We pay for food stamps, section 8 housing and yes, free phones. There is nothing wrong with cities & towns sharing in the cost of looking after stray dogs and sick cats. You want to save every animal, go for it, and pay for it out of your own pocket. We have to pay for humans first, then animals. Spending over a million bucks on two new shelters only a few miles apart is a rip off of tax money from city & town coffers and normal thinking people should be mad!
paul January 05, 2013 at 03:25 PM
Many counties across America share shelters, never mind cities & towns. Do animal fanatics really think every town should have a shelter that costs over a million bucks to build, let alone run? I had dogs & cats as pets over the years, but I never went the pound. Why should everyone have to pay for other peoples unwanted animals? Why should taxpayers have to fund volunteers with a new shelter, food, power, insurance, water, medication, veterinarian etc? It sounds like, volunteers have taken over these shelters, and in some cases, adopted dogs at the expense of the city. Some of these dogs live for years at these shelters and it's all on Mom & Dad taxpayer, who don't have pets.
James January 05, 2013 at 05:20 PM
Paul - I so agree with you about putting down a sick or unadoptable animal and as far as Rocco from Mansfield goes, he was a risk and a tragedy waiting to happen. Not just Pitt Bulls, but any dog deemed vicious should be put down. These bleeding hearts say, "Let's rehabilitate this poor misunderstood animal." Well I once took a cat to a shelter because it attacked every person who came into the room. I had this cat since it was 6 weeks old and gave it plenty of love and affection but it was just born that way. I asked the folks if there was anyway it could be saved and sent elsewhere and I was told that some animals are just born bad and it's best to put them down. So it's been stated to me by "professional" that a bad animal cannot be fixed no matter how much love and understanding they are given. They are a risk and will always be one. So why take a chance on it happening? Save the ones that are not "bad" and get rid of the ones that are. There are more than enough "good" strays looking for a home and that don't have to be "rehabilitated".
deb of see-attleboro January 05, 2013 at 06:12 PM
I must admit, I do agree with many of your points paul. The perception is that these shelters are manned and run by volunteers who will not risk adopting these animals. However, they get kudos from the public at large for caring for these animals at taxpayer expense. And seriously, what kind of life to these "prisoners" have?
Gretchen Robinson January 05, 2013 at 10:00 PM
paul, make nice. Why do you have to call the volunteers and activists "fanatics"??? Ramp down the rhetoric a bit, will you? Maybe put your false umbrage to work in a positive direction.
Gretchen Robinson January 05, 2013 at 10:02 PM
if you want a regional approach, why not put some energy toward it. So easy to gripe judge.
Gretchen Robinson January 05, 2013 at 10:02 PM
the ignorance here is appalling...
Daniel F. Devine January 05, 2013 at 10:35 PM
I see the "self appointed" moderator is still at work attempting to regulate what commentators say.
Richard W. Lunt January 05, 2013 at 11:27 PM
Animal shelters are a good idea; however, sharing the resources and costs to build one is an even better idea. Cities and towns should be able to share a regional shelter. The idea is to save taxpayer money, government local, state, and national, wastes our tax dollars as it is.
yerkillinme January 06, 2013 at 12:17 AM
Careful: If you continue we'll have to hear the life story, how qualified/experienced and all the sacrifices this person has made for the benefit of others. Oh, and how accepting and open minded too the person is too :D
deb of see-attleboro January 06, 2013 at 12:36 AM
:) :)
deb of see-attleboro January 06, 2013 at 12:55 AM
There may be no cost savings. Sometimes a regional service is just far superior. But government thrives on inefficiency. So it goes...
Gretchen Robinson January 06, 2013 at 01:14 AM
calling a whole class of people "fanatics" is escalating the rhetoric this forum works best when we are civil
Gretchen Robinson January 06, 2013 at 01:17 AM
I went to a regional high school (King Philip)--that worked for the three town. They were able to establish educational standard and attract teachers they would not have achieved together.
Daniel F. Devine January 06, 2013 at 02:53 PM
If sharing blueprints is "NOT ALLOWED BY SOME STATE REGULATION" time to change the "STATE REGULATION"
paul January 06, 2013 at 04:24 PM
That's just not true! Two towns can hire the same firm and use the same plans to build the same structure at two locations or more economically at the town line.
deb of see-attleboro January 06, 2013 at 04:48 PM
That may be true. But I would think allowances are made if blueprints are shared and the firm gets compensated.
Daniel F. Devine January 06, 2013 at 07:57 PM
("Of course") ~ The plans/blueprints D O N ' T have to be "site specific & C A N be shared Miss "know it all"
Daniel F. Devine January 06, 2013 at 08:02 PM
But, Gretchen said that plans can't be shared, so it must be true!
Gretchen Robinson January 07, 2013 at 12:35 AM
Daniel, I wasn't the one who said this. Please check higher on this thread and you'll see another person, who knows a lot more about shelters than I do, posted it. My comments were directed more towards the conditions of two sites: shape of lot, size of lot, soil conditions (rock to be blasted, fill to be added, wetlands nearby and needing extra vetting, etc. etc.). Mostly, it would be rare if both towns had exactly the same amount of money to spend.
Mom with opinion January 19, 2013 at 11:51 PM
Paul, I am sure others feel as you do. 1.1 million dollar is too much to spend on an animal shelter.

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