I am disappointed that the Resolutions to move forward with the construction of the new Hi Tor Animal Care Facility in Pomona were not voted on Tuesday evening, causing another unnecessary delay in this process.
These votes are the final step needed to have shovels in the ground following the years of work my administration has completed to reach this point including securing funding, getting architectural design plans for the 14,000 square foot facility, and lining up a contractor.
Unfortunately, like everything else, construction and material prices have skyrocketed over the last 18 months, doubling the cost of this project. While frustrating, it is understandable that the Rockland County Legislature is concerned with the cost and chose to delay the vote to identify other potential options.
New York State Agriculture & Markets Law tasks towns with animal (dogs) control within their municipality. Even though County government is not required to build or maintain a shelter, it was believed that having the County take the leadership role in this shared service and build this new facility would save the Towns from the burden of building their own shelters or finding alternatives at a significant cost. Yesterday I, along with my executive team and legislative leadership, met with all five Town Supervisors who are now concerned about the location of the shelter; however, they have committed themselves to finding suitable alternatives. Both the County Legislature and I look forward to the results of their efforts.
My administration, the County Legislature, and Town Supervisors made a joint promise long ago to provide homeless animals in Rockland with a desperately needed upgrade; rising costs do not change this fact. Time is a critical factor for the current aging facility. We have held up our end of the pledge now we need the other stakeholders to do the same on behalf of all the animals currently housed there.
I continue to ask those who regularly volunteer and support these animals to stay committed. Your time and effort in service to these animals is greatly appreciated.