ROCKLAND COUNTY, NY — After what looked like a done deal seemingly unraveled, Rockland is back to talk about what to do with the decrepit and overcrowded animal shelter that has served the county for 50 years.
A statement released Wednesday by Rockland County Executive Ed Day revealed issues on multiple fronts.
First, the County Board of Legislators did not vote for an additional $10 million for the Hi Tor Animal Care Center. The administration had asked for the money when offers came back well above the $8 million allocated for the expansion project in state, county and private funds. The item was removed from Tuesday evening’s agenda. SEE: Cost of the new animal shelter in Rockland Skyrockets
Second, the five Rockland city supervisors met with Day on Tuesday and according to Day raised a new objection – to the location of the expanded shelter, which was to be adjacent to the current location on county property. from Pomona.
City supervisors took on the task of coming up with alternatives, Day said.
Patch contacted the five city supervisors.
Day said he was disappointed the Legislative Assembly did not vote to allocate the additional $10 million. However, he also said he and lawmakers were eagerly awaiting the results of the city supervisors’ efforts. He didn’t say when those might be expected.
Hi Tor, Rockland’s only animal shelter, has suffered years of overcrowding and underfunding, in a facility virtually unchanged since 1972 near the Pomona County Fire Training Center.
The county held a groundbreaking ceremony in October 2021 for the new shelter and showed plans for the new facility, which was designed to be three times larger. County officials even went to bid and chose Westchester contractor Piazza Inc. of Hawthorne to submit to the Legislative Assembly. For approval, according to the Rockland Business Journal.
Meanwhile, one of the city’s supervisors, Howard Phillips of Haverstraw, who is also the chairman of the county’s solid waste management authority, called Rockland Green, this spring began promoting the idea of extend the competence of Rockland Green to the management of the shelter. Rockland Green offered no plan; however, the Legislature and state lawmakers supported Phillips’ proposal to ask the state to expand the charter of quasi-public authority to allow him to operate an animal sanctuary through a subsidiary, an essential first step.
In April, Orangetown City Supervisor Teresa Kenny told the Rockland Business Journal that she was concerned on the Rockland Green idea and how quickly it seemed to be moving forward.
Problems with Hi-Tor’s operations led Orangetown to drop its contract with the shelter for stray animal control in 2021 and move to the Hudson Valley Humane Society for stray dogs.
Meanwhile, Day is concerned about operations at the shelter, which rely on volunteers.
Here is Day’s statement: