SHOUT OUT: Should the City of Bowie Have Its Own Animal Shelter?

Patch wants to know what you think about local hot-button issues.

Although the City of Bowie Town Hall currently houses a short-term animal holding facility for pets who have been separated from their owners, a local group called Bowie CLAW wants the town to construct its own short-term animal shelter, separate from the town hall facilities.

The city’s Financial Advisory Committee advised against this expense at last week’s mayor and council meeting, due to the expense and the fact that there is a new county-run facility nine miles away from Bowie.

What do you think, Bowie? Should the town have its own temporary shelter, separate from the town hall holding facility? Is the town hall facility adequate?

SFBMoore May 17, 2012 at 12:43 PM
While I fully appreciate the concerns of those who want a local animal shelter, and I have sympathy for the animals who wander away from home, I think those who want these services should find more creative ways of funding their project. $150,000 is not enough to build the shelter that is needed; the group should seek grant money from animal friendly alliances. The group should propose a fee policy for those who use the shelter where the fees would cover the operating costs. Our city has lost substantial state funding, funds which were always used to cover street maintenance. In spite of this, the council voted to take funds from our "savings" account to keep street repairs. If they had voted on an animal shelter, the funds would have had to come out of savings again....in violation of our financial policies. Alternatively, we would have had to take funds out of existing maintenance needs or raised taxes. None of these alternatives are acceptable. Please, those of you who want this shelter, find a way of financing it without asking the general taxpayers of Bowie to cover the cost of your "pet" project. Bonnie Moore, Chairperson, Bowie Financial Advisory Committee
Connie Carter May 17, 2012 at 10:17 PM
How can the CIty know the cost of building a shelter when noone from the City has made any effort to research the project whereas Bowie CLAW has and has given a very detailed report to the Council and City Staff. Bowie CLAW has also given detailed operating budgets but again, no one from the City has reached out to do proper reseach on their own including the holding room and that was only after Bowie CLAW made noise about the safety of the pets that were going to be put there. There is no proof that funds for a shelter would have to come out of a savings or that taxes would be increased. Making this decision with lack of research seems to be the City's agenda and that does not serve the citizens which is what the Council was elected to do. If anyone thinks that the 20ft x 7ft room will help the citizens, they need to think again. How can it help if the animals will still have to be transported to County by early afternoon. That makes no sense and helps no one. To be financially responsible as the City keeps saying they must be, then ALL projects should come to a halt immediately including the playground at Allen Pond and the renovation of Whitemarsh Park among the many others. As a final note, Bowie CLAW HAS a way of financing the shelter without asking the general taxpayers of Bowie to cover the cost of the shelter. The City doesn't want to hear it. Maybe they will listen when election time comes. All this information in on our website for anyone to view.
SFBMoore May 17, 2012 at 10:45 PM
I take issue with your comment that no one has examined where the funds would come from, if approved. I have been on the financial advisory committee for about 8 years, and each year I have studied the budget carefully, and I have understood where funds come from, and where they go. I have worked as a financial consultant to several governmental agencies for more than 13 years. I know how to read municipal budgets. I also know quite a bit about construction costs...and no I haven't seen your detailed plans, but I have paid plenty of contractors. Please read the Bowie city budget...we took money out of our savings account just to meet existing expenses. We only have three choices....take the money out of savings against the rules; take the money out off other maintenance projects; or raise taxes. If Bowie CLAW has the money to build a shelter...please apply for a permit and get it built. Bonnie Moore, Chairperson, Bowie Financial Advisory Committee
Connie Carter May 18, 2012 at 12:13 AM
Once again the point has been twisted. Our taxes were raised, then the City employees received bonuses. Interesting. A multimillion dollar city hall was built without asking the citizens. A new playground for allen pond, renovate whitemarsh park. Where does that money come from? Bowie CLAW has the money and we want to work with the City. It will be paid for. It will not cost the citizens additional taxes and there will be a revnue stream. It will save tax payers money thru BAC budget savings and yes I have looked at the budget. Citizens can check our website to learn the real facts.
SFBMoore May 18, 2012 at 10:23 AM
I'm very pleased to hear that CLAW has the money to build and operate a facility! I'm sure that there will be no issue in getting a building pemit issued. The funds should be raised by those interested in the facility, and the operating costs should be paid through a fee system. Sounds like you are on the right track! By the way, the tax rate has stayed virtually even for several years and there is no "bonus" program in Bowie. The city hall went through a very long review process with a great deal of citizen input. It was voted on and passed, and it also includes facilities for lost pets. Bonnie Moore, Chairperson, Bowie Financial Advisory Committee


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