Borough Seeks Out-of-Town Critters for Renovated Animal Pound
By mid-September the borough hopes to have completed substantial upgrades to its animal pound thereby allowing it to enter into shared service agreements to house animals from neighboring communities.
Following a state inspection last year that found a multitude of deficiencies with the town's 60-year-old animal pound, the borough needed to make a decision: outsource its animal control division or double down and make the necessary renovations to bring the pound up to code.
Borough manager Tom Metzler decided to fix the pound under the assumption that a state-of-the-art facility would entice nearby towns without in-house animal control to pay the borough for its animal control services. After both Garfield and Lodi recently contacted the borough about shared service agreements for animal control, the move looks like it could soon pay off.
"This is the direction we’re going," said Metzler, who has also been in talks to utilize Fair Lawn's vehicle garage and mechanics to provide vehicle maintenace for other towns. "Fair Lawn, as one of the bigger communities [in Bergen County], is trying to push shared services with smaller communities and see where it takes us."
A tour of the upgraded pound will be scheduled for both communities once the approximately $25,000 worth of improvements are finished, Metzler said.
The extensive list of improvements, which project director Ron Conte said should be completed by mid-September, include doubling the number of dog runs, adding a dedicated cat room, making improvements to lighting, drainage, ceiling support, concrete infrastructure, fencing, air conditioning, water lines, handicap accessibility, giving the facility a fresh epoxy paint job and purchasing a new 28-foot trailer that will serve as office and storage space for the animal control warden.
The project is being paid for through use of about half of the borough's animal trust, a dedicated reserve that is funded by animal licensing fees.
Until the renovations are complete the animals will stay at Tyco in Paramus, Conte said.