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WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 17, 2007
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Decatur City Council rejects animal shelter bids

By Evan Belanger
evanb@decaturdaily.com 340-2442

Four-legged residents at Decatur's animal shelter will have to shine on a little longer before moving to their new home at Wilson Morgan Park.

The Decatur City Council unanimously rejected Monday all bids to renovate a city-owned building for use by the Decatur Animal Services Department.

City officials had planned to move the department to the former Decatur Workshop and Development Center at Wilson Morgan Park, but bids to renovate the facility came in about $1 million higher than expected.

In the original plan, architects estimated the renovations would cost about $1 million with an additional $200,000 to come from private donations. The recent bids estimated construction would cost well over $2 million.

"It was substantially out of range," said Mayor Don Kyle of the bids.

Kyle said city officials will now look for ways to reduce the renovation costs, which could mean scaling back plans for the facility.

Until then, the Decatur Animal Services Department will remain at its current location adjacent to the train tracks at the city's municipal complex near Central Parkway and 14th Street Southwest.

Director Mindy Gilbert said the current facility does not have an appropriate air exchange system or drainage system to properly care for its animals. She also said it is too far out of the way to be readily accessible to the public, which negatively impacts the shelter's pet adoption programs.

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