During today's regularly scheduled City Council meeting, the Tyler City Council authorized the City manager to negotiate for the purchase of property at 4218 Chandler Hwy to be used for a future animal care facility.
"We are pleased to take this step toward Tyler opening its own Animal Care Facility," said Tyler Mayor Barbara Bass. "We have historically contracted with the private sector to provide this service for our community. However, it is no longer economically nor practical to do so."
This capital project was approved by the Half-Cent Board and City Council as a budget item in August.
As part of the Lean Six Sigma initiative, an analysis of current animal control operations was performed. The analysis found that an animal care facility is needed to control escalating costs and to ensure cooperative oversight of animal control and shelter operations. The study also found that the new facility was needed to ensure all regulatory matters are addressed in a timely and effective manner and to improve accessibility of shelter services, resulting in quality responsive service to customers.
Estimated minimal requirements for the facility are 10,000 square feet with a capacity to hold 75 dogs and 50 cats at one time. This compares to the 12,000 square foot facility in Wichita Falls with an annual operating cost of $805,000 or Collin County with a 10,000 square foot facility with a $1,319,020 operating cost per year.
The 2012-2013 animal services contract cost to the City of Tyler was $567,500, with an estimated 42 percent cost increase for a new contract, based on growing animal intake and estimates.
Freese and Nichols, a professional architectural and engineering firm with a Tyler office, has been contracted to execute a programing and schematic design to determine preliminary costs, the needs of the facility, and how the building and grounds would function.
"Over the last several months, the City has been in discussion with other jurisdictions and potential partners," added Tyler City Manager Mark McDaniel. "As we move forward, we anticipate finalizing these agreements."