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story.lead_photo.caption Jessica Rodriguez of Springdale plays with Momo the kitten Monday at the Springdale Animal Shelter. Momo was found as a stray and is 8 weeks old. Rodriguez is a caregiver at the shelter. - Photo by J.T. Wampler

SPRINGDALE -- The City Council has set a session for residents to ask questions and leave comments about two proposed sites for the new animal shelter. The session will run from 5 to 7 p.m. May 3 in the Council Chambers on the first floor of the City Administration Building at 201 Spring St.

Photo by J.T. Wampler
Curtis McNeely washes food bowls Monday at the Springdale Animal Shelter. The Springdale City Council is considering locations for a new shelter.
Photo by J.T. Wampler
The Springdale Animal Shelter is seen Monday at 321 W Randall Wobbe Lane.

A new 5,500-square-foot animal shelter was approved by voters in February, with $5.2 million in construction costs being a part of a $200 million bond issue. The money to repay the bonds will come from the extension of a 1 percent sales tax.

A site at J.B. Hunt Park, near the eastern entrance of the park on Pump Station Road, was chosen for the site of the shelter, but neighbors began to voice opposition soon after the bond election. So city staff searched for an alternate location, and found one on McCollough Drive, just south of East Emma Avenue, in eastern Springdale.

An assessment of what would be needed in a new animal shelter was completed for the city in November by the Shelter Planners of America in Arlington, Texas. The shelter took in roughly 2,180 animals in 2017, seeing 930 adopted and 634 returned to owners -- about 10 percent, reported Courtney Kremer, director of Animal Services for the city.

The Hunt Park site was chosen because of its location and visibility, said Mayor Doug Sprouse. The needs assessment notes locating shelters in high-visibility locations increases visitors and the number of animals adopted and returned to their owners.

Dean's Trail, part of the city's trails system, will run right by the site on McConnell Avenue, the mayor said, and the City Council is expected to approve money for construction of Phase One of the trail in its next meeting. Additionally, the shelter front on a road the city plans to build connecting Ford and Turnbow avenues in the city's industrial park to Butterfield Coach Road, with street improvement money raised by the bond issue.

And the location should provide enough room for a couple of dog parks, Sprouse added.

"I will be happy with either choice," he said.

Architects will be on hand May 10 with plans for new state-of-the-art animal shelter, said Melissa Reeves, a city spokeswoman. The meeting will be an open house with no formal presentation, with the public invited to visit anytime during the scheduled hours to view exhibits, ask questions and offer comments.

In addition, plans and documents related to the animal shelter construction project and forms for comment are available on the city's website or in the mayor's office. Deadline for comment is 5 p.m. May 23.

NW News on 04/17/2018

The story was updated to correct the date of the comment session.

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