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Lease stands in way of preferred dog pound site

PHOTO/STOCK.ADOBE.COM

South Wairarapa District Council’s preferred location for a new animal pound may not be viable because of existing lease arrangements.

Despite this, councillors have been asked to progress the dog pound project through to procurement.

A report to the council’s planning and regulatory committee said while the proposed site on Johnston St was owned by the council, it was also leased to a third party who uses it as a green refuse station.

The land is also the site of the current pound [7 metres by 7.5m], but the new pound would be bigger [30m by 34m] and would require more space.

The council’s animal pound is not compliant with animal welfare standards.

“Officers went to market seeking quotes from suppliers as they had received clear direction that while the land was leased, this was not a problem to get a variation to the lease,” the council report said.

“Various suppliers were able to give us an indication of costs, though they were contingent on the fact that the cost for materials was fluid and increasing.

“We were about to seek contractural arrangements with the suppliers when we were informed that the lessor would not grant a variation to the lease of the council land at Johnston St, Featherston.”

The report said the Johnston St location was still the most viable solution for the council.

“However if the land is not available, then officers will need to investigate other land options.

“Based on the limited land options within the region, there will likely be additional costs involved.”

There is no publicly available up-to-date budget for building a new facility. Previously, council staff provided councillors with a design which was an open “pole shed with horizontal kennels”.

This concept and design would not meet animal welfare or health and safety requirements for staff and therefore would still be non-compliant.

This proposed design had a budget of $240,000.

Carterton District Council’s new facility would have a budget of $370,000, and Masterton’s had an initial budget of $1.46 million.

Previously, all councils had been in talks for a combined facility, but since then, Masterton and Carterton have decided to build their own facilities.

South Wairarapa’s planning and regulatory committee are set to meet tomorrow to discuss the report.

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