Funding proposed for animal shelter would cover construction

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Though approval of a final budget is months away, village staff's proposal to allocate $500,000 for an animal shelter would likely only cover construction or expansion costs, and not acquisition of property or operating expenses, Deputy Village Manager Ray Wiggins said last week.

"I can safely say that that amount would provide for construction of a new facility and or build-out of an existing structure," Wiggins said.

The budget proposal is still tentative, and the board may ultimately decide to alter the amount allocated for the venture, he added.

"It's not a maximum or minimum amount," he said.

Establishing an animal shelter is among the village board's array of goals established in recent months.

A village board appointed Animal Shelter Task Force compiled a final report that had yet to be reviewed by trustees, but will likely be presented at a future board study session, Wiggins said.

The report did not ultimately recommend specific sites for a shelter. However, that "doesn't mean they didn't contemplate specific sites," Wiggins said, adding that discussion of any property acquisition discussion would likely be held in a board executive session.

?#34;Katharine Grayson

Hanover Animal Hospital, the veterinary clinic in Forest Park where Oak Park Animal Control houses its stray animals, has been sold to a vet who will only focus on providing care to cats, prompting the village to begin a search for a new facility.

Oak Park Health Department Director Georgeen Polyak said last week that the village has issued a Request For Proposal (RFP) to animal shelters and veterinarians who may be willing to take Oak Park's animals. Polyak said the vet who has taken over the Forest Park clinic has agreed to continue the current arrangement with the village "for a few months."

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