Missing a mid-September deadline is just the latest setback for the Baw Baw Shire’s new pound project.
When the council bought Longwarry North’s Utopia Pet Lodge for $1.2 million late last year, there were plans to keep the boarding kennels business operating on the site alongside a new animal pound.
Councillors put an end to that dream in June when they resolved to end the lodge business and refit the site for use exclusively as a replacement for Warragul’s ageing pound.
Stage one works, which will make the site compliant for use as a pound, were expected to be finished in mid-September, but the reworked site is still yet to open its doors.
“The project has had a minor setback due to a delay in suppliers being able to deliver the animal enclosures within timelines and the builder unable to commence works in August,” a Baw Baw Shire Council spokesperson told the Baw Baw Citizen.
“The pound is expected to be operational in early October upon completion of the stage one works and approval from the building surveyor.”
Stage two will see an additional 22 new dog enclosures installed, as well as dog and cat isolation areas, a new dog exercise yard, and security enhancements.
Baw Baw expects the bill for stage one works to hit $90,000, with stage two going to open tender.
That second stage is expected to be completed by December at an estimated cost of $230,000.
In a media release, Baw Baw mayor Joe Gauci said the two-stage approach was intended to get the site operational as soon as possible.
“This way, we can close the old Galloway Street pound as soon as Stage One is completed in September and move operations immediately to the new, modern facility at Longwarry North,” Cr Gauci said.
“Stage Two is all about making sure the facility is ready for tomorrow as well as today.
“Our Shire is growing rapidly, which is fantastic. But it means we’ve got to be ready to meet the challenges that come with that growth.
“These additional works will give us the capacity to do just that.”
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