Hays County Commissioners have unanimously approved tender specifications for an organization to assist in the establishment, development and operation of a pet resource center.
Commissioners expressed their relief and gratitude to the Court of Commissioners on Tuesday for a project that has been “a long time in coming”, according to Commissioner Debbie Ingalsbe.
“We’re happy to move forward on this,” Ingalsbe said. “There have been a lot of people who are eager to see this on the agenda, so we’re looking forward to their responses and moving forward.”
On April 27, Heather Lewis and Teresa Adams of Animal Arts, along with Dr. Sara Pizano of Team Shelter USA, hosted a needs assessment workshop with leaders from Hays County and San Marcos Regional Animal Shelter. (SMRAS) to assess the existing shelter, and make recommendations for a new facility with updated operational standards to serve Hays County in the future, according to the Hays County Facilities Workshop and Report. needs assessment.
Pizano and Lewis presented their recommendations to Hays County Commissioners in June. Recommendations included building a pet resource center as part of the shelter to provide a healthy and functional environment for animals, staff, volunteers and visitors; address the root causes of animal homelessness and lack of access to resources; creating a state-of-the-art social services campus to serve people and pets in need; develop public-private partnerships for the operation of resource centres; and the ability to reunite pets with their owners as quickly as possible to reduce time spent in the facility.
The proposed new facility for Hays County consists of two buildings: a 4,063 square foot combined open-door veterinary and neuter clinic, and a 17,749 square foot indoor and covered outdoor Pet Resource Center of 5,950 square feet, according to the RFP document. The expected cost of the installation is $23,361,928 with a 6% increase depending on the duration of the project.
The RFP proposes that the center be divided into four main areas: Community Services, Shelter Operations, Medical Care for Shelter Pets, and Administration, with a multiple purpose of “serv[ing] the community by ensuring public and animal safety, social service programs, euthanasia where appropriate, as well as improving public access to veterinary care.
The award recipient should adopt the HASS (Human Animal Support Services) model and The Best Practice Playbook for Animal Shelters.
Hays County was due to release the RFP on September 29 and will be accepting submissions through the October 27 deadline.
In other cases, Hays County commissioners have granted blanket approval for Main Street-sponsored events to include commercial vendors.
The unanimous vote of approval follows a request from Main Street representatives Josie Falletta and Freddy Medina to allow commercial vendors to resume hosting large-scale events.
Falletta clarified in court that their vendors are just small local businesses and not “huge, aloof characters” and added that Main Street is hosting the SMTX Bubble Fest in November.
Judge Ruben Becerra, who previously served on the San Marcos Main Street Board of Directors, expressed his support for the Main Street program with the following statement.
“The responsibility of these organizations, I believe, is largely not to become just any town in the United States along the highway, and you have done such a magnificent job with the care and beautification and all efforts that haven’t gone unnoticed,” he said.
Commissioners approved reinstatement of the burning ban effective September 27, after Hays County Fire Marshal Mark Wobus reported the Keetch-Byram Drought Index (KBDI) at 672 and advised the court of firefighters’ multiple responses to authorized escape burns and accidental fires in recent years. weeks.
The proposal quickly received a motion and a second, and Smith thanked Wobus for his recent help in putting out a three-acre fire on the west side of the county.
“It went from green to fuel pretty immediately, so we enjoyed it,” Smith said.
Two Public Improvement District (PID) Assessment and Collection Agreements for Kyle 57 and Plum Creek North also received commissioners’ approval at Tuesday’s meeting.
The next meeting of the Court of Commissioners is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 11 at 9 a.m. at the historic Hays Courthouse at 111 E. San Antonio St. in San Marcos.
To watch the full meetings online, visit https://hayscountytx.com/commissioners-court/court-video/.