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story.lead_photo.caption The Springdale Animal Shelter is seen Monday at 321 W Randall Wobbe Lane. - Photo by J.T. Wampler

SPRINGDALE -- City Council members tentatively decided on a location for the city's new animal shelter. Council members working in committees approved Monday, 5-3, a 10-acre site on Don Tyson Parkway, east of Old Missouri Road.

The council will vote on the issue Aug. 14.

The city would buy the land for $550,000, said Mayor Doug Sprouse. SCM Architects of Little Rock estimated an additional $120,000 to $190,000 would be needed for ground work for the shelter's structure. But the report also noted the site cost could come in 50 percent to 70 percent less as engineers plan with more detail.

Springdale voters on Feb. 14 approved spending $4.7 million to build a shelter as part of the city's bond program. The architects estimated the cost for a site at J.B. Hunt Park, but the council voted June 18 to abandon the site after residents objected. The estimate for the site work at the Tyson Parkway location is in addition to the $4.7 million, as is the cost of buying the land.

Sprouse said the council could divide the price of the land, using money from the bond programs of both the animal shelter and parks, which totaled $19.4 million. City staff would determine the split for approval by the council.

In addition to the 4-acre shelter site, Sprouse envisions a park and perhaps a trailhead developed on the southern 6 acres of the plot, he said. The proposed Dean's Trail would run along with eastern edge of the property.

The council considered two more locations for the animal shelter --city land at McCollough Drive and Ford Avenue in the industrial area and 12 acres on Huntsville Avenue, just west of Central Junior High School. Both would require more money for site work, and buying the Huntsville Avenue site would cost the city $750,000.

But some neighbors of the Tyson Parkway site disapprove. Walnut Grove Nursing and Rehabilitation Center sits immediately west of the proposed animal shelter site. Residents and staff spoke Monday night against the shelter, citing safety and comfort of the residents as their main concerns.

"Our residents are frail, elderly, sick and recovering," said Don Eicher, a lawyer for Olotor LLC, which owns and operates the nursing home. "Our memory care unit sits yards from the site where you propose the animal shelter. Noises and smells confuse the residents who live there. They might hear a dog barking and think it's their dog from 30 years ago and try to find it."

"You need to consider the elderly," said John Murphy, whose wife resides in the memory care unit. "These are the people who built this country, and we need to take care of them."

"I think the council listened to their concerns," Sprouse said after the meeting. "Our goal is always safety of all our residents. And if that site is approved by council, it will continue to be. Of course, we will continue to be a good neighbor and try to mitigate any concerns they have."

Sprouse said he thinks many of the concerns residents have expressed over the animal shelter arose because they don't understand the features of a modern animal shelter, which would only allow for the unloading of animals from the Animal Control vehicle behind a closed fence and a closed sally-port door. The new shelter also will feature state-of-the art drainage and noise abatement systems.

NW News on 08/07/2018

Print Headline: Springdale chooses site for shelter

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