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Selectmen debate dog pound

SHARON — It seems to be a question of putting the cart before the horse. The town has applied for a state grant to pay for construction of a new dog pound (one that will meet state standards). But in order to get the grant funds, the town has to map the site and build a foundation. Which of course requires money.

At a special Board of Selectmen’s meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 14, First Selectman Bob Loucks and Selectman John Mathews debated how to get the pieces in place so the town can proceed with the grant request.

In May, voters at a town meeting approved the town’s five-year local capital improvement plan, which allocated $235,000 for the construction of a new pound.

In early December, the town applied for a state Small Town Economic Assistance Program (STEAP) grant for funds to help pay for the construction of the pound and also for road and bridge repair work.

Loucks said the dog pound site is being prepared now so the town can create maps of the site that are required as supporting material for the grant application. However, the foundation for the building site needs to be prepared.

Mathews suggested that the work be done by a private company, not the town crew.

“What would happen if we hired an outside contractor to do all of this?” he suggested. “I don’t think [the town] has the equipment to do the work.”

“I don’t think the town has the money to hire an outside contractor,” Loucks responded. “I think [the highway department] can do it.”

Mathews then asked resident Florien Palmer for his opinion on the situation.

“Right now we have $300,000 on the wire and if we don’t file the maps, the money is gone,” Palmer said. “We could just put snowballs [into the foundation] so we can do the maps.”

“Can’t we just strip [the top soil], prepare the foundation and be done with it?” Mathews asked.

“If someone can do it, yes, but I don’t know how to make this happen,” Palmer told Mathews. “I’m clueless.”

Palmer then criticized Sharon Highway Department Foreman Charlie Godfrey.

“This has been going on for a year,” Palmer said.

Loucks told Palmer he would speak to Godfrey and encourage him to finish the foundation work and the selectmen would discuss the situation further at the next meeting.

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