NORMAN — Two Norman City Council Conference sessions this week will throw three newly elected council members directly into the fire of decision making. At 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, council members will hear a presentation on the Animal Welfare Center renovation and project costs, and Wednesday, the council will discuss a citywide vote to increase the sewer rates.
Both nonvoting discussion meetings are open to the public.
Despite a lean budget this year, the city council may decided to appropriate an additional $171,820 from the Capital Fund balance to cover recommended contractual elements for the new Animal Welfare project. Proposed changes in building plans will be reviewed at Tuesday’s conference meeting.
Voters approved of the $3 million bond project in November 2011. In June 2012, the city council awarded Tevis Architecture Group the design contract.
During development of the plans for the new shelter, architects worked with city staff and the Animal Welfare Oversight Committee to identify best practices and how to address the most pressing operational concerns at the shelter.
The circa 1973 animal shelter had stacked cages and poor ventilation — potential health hazards for animals, city staff and volunteers who work with the animals. An adoption center was added in 2003 to provide a more comfortable space for some of the most adoptable animals, but facilities remained inadequate.
The Tevis design was bid in April. The base bid included the highest priority components. Alternate items were also bid to give the city flexibility within the limits of the available budget.
There were also items in the base bid that could be removed, if desired. Those include the SMT cleaning system, the energy recovery ventilators, powered ultra-violet filtration units, a sally port, a multipurpose room and skylights.
Items that could be added if the budget allows includes a cat porch, a generator, synthetic turf system and play yards, a sloped roof system and resinous flooring.