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Construction to begin in spring for regional animal control shelter in New London

February 8, 2019

New London — The City Council this week formalized a partnership with the towns of East Lyme and Waterford for a regional animal control shelter.

Initial plans show the city’s existing facility at Bates Woods Park doubling in size from 14 to 28 dog kennels. The city is preparing to issue a request for proposals for the facility and the projected 160,000 at that time. Renovations increased the size of the facility and brought it up to fire code.

The city’s Public Works and Finance departments will oversee the bid process and upcoming construction.

Public Works Director Brian Sear said he expects to essentially replicate what exists in the building: indoor kennel spaces with fenced-in outdoor areas. He said there also will be room to expand by another 14 kennels, should more towns look to partner. Montville had at one point been part of the shelter consolidation discussions.

Sear said part of the construction project will include connecting the building to water, natural gas and sewer lines. The building now uses propane heat and a septic system.

Each town is to share equally in the monthly maintenance and utility costs, along with animal food, repairs, equipment and care of the animals. Veterinary, adoption and advertising expenses for individual animals, however, will be paid by the communities where each animal originated.

The towns jointly are expected to work out euthanasia and adoption policies once the expansion is completed.

The City Council praised the efforts of the city to work with neighboring towns. Councilor Efrain Dominguez called it a “great idea” that sets an example for other towns and shows that “being able to regionalize is possible.”

New London has partnered with Waterford and East on two other initiatives. Waterford and New London are working toward consolidation of emergency dispatch services. All three towns have worked out an agreement to grant full arrest powers to certain narcotics officers to operate across town lines.

“I think one misconception among the public is how difficult it is, both legally and (practically), to consolidate services across town lines,” Passero said. “I think New London in this area is leading the way.”

g.smith@theday.com

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