The Norman Transcript

April 23, 2013

Animal Oversight Committee left out of final plans before bids done

By Jessica Bruha
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Emotions and concerns ran high for board members at the Animal Oversight Committee meeting Monday night.

Many board members expressed their displeasure for the lack of communication over final plans for the new animal shelter facility. Board members were not made aware of how the final plans went out to bid out until their Monday night meeting, and the project went out to bid last week.

In the final plans for the project that went to bid, 11 items were listed as optional, some of which board members felt shouldn’t have been on that list.

Board member Ginger Noble said the board members understand how construction costs change and adjustments may have to be made, but nobody took the priorities of the project into consideration. Committee members feel some of the items on this list are absolute priorities for the facility.

Things relating to the animals and quality of environment such as the Spray Master Technology, Energy Recovery Ventilator, epoxy flooring and multi-purpose room were items the board believed to be essential to the project.

The Spray Master Technology is equipment that was going to be used to spray down the area in which animals were kept, specifically spraying for urine and feces or any other bodily fluids from animals. The Energy Recovery Ventilator was going to reduce operation costs and would help dehumidify the air in the facility. The epoxy flooring also was something that would help with disease control in the facility.

The multi-purpose room also was something they felt was needed to have an area people could go for a training class, or if there was a spike in puppies one month, it could be used as overflow, board member Joe Carter said.

“I feel let down right now,” Carter said.

The board also noticed that the meet and greet room and the safe room were completely taken out of the project. The meet and greet room was going to be an area to allow patrons to interact with animals they were interested in adopting. The safe room was going to be an area for shelter staff to go to in case of a tornado or severe weather, which the area is well-known for, board member Jennifer Golden said.

Board members knew some of the items on the list would not happen or didn’t have to happen right away, such as the emergency generator, the sally port and synthetic turf.

“We decided the very first meeting the generator was out,” Golden said.

Board members also said they discussed possibly having a fundraiser later for the synthetic turf area for the animals. They also discussed that the sally port would be a luxury but wasn’t a necessity.

Golden said she thought they had enough money for everything, they were assured by Tevis Architects that they did and then were told they didn’t need to have any more meetings. Two and a half months later,a bunch of changes were made and no one on the board was made aware of them.

“Where did this system break down?” Golden said. “I feel like this is a purposeful misleading of this board.”

After Deputy Chief Jim Maisano, supervisor of the project, and City Manager Steve Lewis were asked to join the meeting, some of the hard feelings began to be alleviated.

Maisano told board members Tevis said a list of optional items needed to be put together so the bids would come in low enough. It also helps so that the project will not have to be rebid, which often frustrates bidders, Lewis said.

“I apologize for the lack of communication,” Lewis told board members.

Everyone decided board members Golden and Carter would put together the committee’s list of things they felt were priorities for the facility and send it to Maisano. They also will attend the opening of bids at 2 p.m. Thursday in the Conference Room in Building C at the City of Norman Municipal Complex, 201 W. Gray St.

Maisano said after they take all the bids, they will be put into a spreadsheet with the items on the optional list and try to find the best value for the money available. The opened bids will be discussed at 8:30 a.m. Friday at the City of Norman Municipal Complex, which Golden and Carter plan to attend.

The bid recommendations are expected to be heard by the city council on May 14.

The items on the optional list included:

· Cat port

· Sally port

· Spray Master Technology, which would be used to spray down the areas where animals are kept.

· Emergency generator

· Synthetic turf and play yard

· Sloped roof

· Energy Recovery Ventilator, which would be used to dehumidify air and decrease operational costs for the facility instead of using energy from the heating and cooling system

· Power Filtration Unit, which would provide UV filtration

· Multi-purpose room

· Epoxy or resin flooring

· Sky lights

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