FORT PIERCEIts back to the drawing board for the city to find an animal shelterprovider.
The Fort Pierce City Commission Tuesday accepted staff recommendation to reject the sole bid for an animal shelter provider and to work with St. Lucie County to keep the temporary shelter open until the end of June.
The city rejected a bid from New Hope Humane Society, a group of former employees and volunteers of the Humane Society of St. Lucie County, because it lacked experience and the requirements the city wanted.
Fort Pierce, Port St. Lucie and St. Lucie County last fall pulled their funding for the Humane Society, saying it was concerned with a lack of financial accountability and the welfare of the animals and shelter staff and workers after a mauling death of a volunteer.
The three local governments partnered to operate a temporary shelter on county-owned land at Treasure Coast International Airport until Fort Pierce could select a new provider to operate the former shelter at 100 Savannah Road, which was once operated by the Humane Society.
The temporary shelter is scheduled to close March 31, but Fort Pierce would like to postpone that by 90 days until the end of June to allow it to re-solicitbids to operate the shelter.
Hours earlier on Tuesday, the Port St. Lucie City Councilagreed to reconcile with the Humane Society effective March 1 and have dogs and cats taken to the shelter it owns at 8890 Glades Cut-Off Road.
The Humane Society board chairwoman said she has no plans to reunite with Fort Pierce or St. Lucie County.
More: Port St. Lucie makes up with Humane Society, will pay $450,000 annually for three years
City-owned property at 100 Savannah Road that was once operated as an animal shelter.(Photo: LEAH VOSS/TCPALM)
More: FEMA rejects Fort Pierce $1.3M claim to repair Melody Lane seawall
Fort Pierce staff said the county has agreed to become a permanent partner and offered labor and to pay for renovating the facility.
The city is faced with spending between $200,000 to $250,000 to repair the shelter, city staff said. Crews have removed carpeting, wood paneling, desks, filing cabinets and rusted chain links, the city stated.
An exterminator treated the facility for bugs and placed traps for rodents on the property. The traps are removed monthly, staff said.Staff recommended replacing the entire HVAC system because it fails to meet the building code.
This facility is just fine, City Manager Nick Mimms said. It just needs a little love.
Interjected Mayor Linda Hudson , A lot of love, said Mayor Linda Hudson.
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