Discovery of buried materials puts plans for new animal shelter on a strained leash – Port Arthur News


Plans to construct a new animal shelter in Port Arthur are actually up within the air on account of what’s underground.

Assistant City Manager Pamela Langford addressed City Council this week relating to points with the land at 1401 nineteenth St., which was chosen in 2019.

The empty lot beforehand housed a water therapy facility that was demolished in 2014 utilizing funds acquired from Hurricane Ike. However, a wants evaluation examine this yr revealed roughly 4 10-toes concrete partitions had been buried below 2 toes of filth.

The rationalization was given on the request of Councilman Thomas Kinlaw III, who put the merchandise on this week’s agenda following a earlier council assembly when potential issues with a new animal shelter had been talked about however not detailed.

“I wasn’t aware that we had any miscues with possibly this project not happening until the city manager stated in the last meeting that we may have some hiccups with a 10-foot wall on site,” Kinlaw stated. “I think it’s imperative that we be transparent with the citizens and the council…and I hope we can highlight (it), because we promised the people — the citizens — about these projects.”

Langford stated in late September, on the request of Mayor Pro Tem Donald Frank, employees supplied council with the standing of capital enchancment tasks budgeted for the present fiscal yr, which included utilizing $9.9 million of $32.9 million to relocate the animal shelter and Public Health Department.

Of that quantity, it was estimated in 2019 that constructing a new shelter would price $2.7 million.

Langford defined this week that in May, council accredited hiring PGAL, an structure agency from Houston, to carry out a wants evaluation for the proposed shelter.

“Needs assessment helps uncover any gaps that could possibly impede with the completion of this project,” she stated.

When the water therapy plant was demolished, all hazardous materials had been eliminated and a soil take a look at was executed to make sure there have been no poisonous chemical compounds on web site. But by the wants evaluation course of, PGAL discovered buried concrete that might make it inconceivable to construct the shelter on the chosen location.

“If you look at it with the naked eye, there’s no indication that there was concrete buried under that site,” Langford stated. “That was something that came and was discussed since we started this needs assessment process. So…we are waiting to get information from the geotechnical engineer regarding the site to have a discussion with the city manager on what the next steps would be — rather if it’s still to construct at this current site or to look for other viable space within the city to still move forward with the construction of the animal shelter.”

The plans made to construct the shelter require it’s executed on metropolis-owned property.

Kinlaw questioned why the invention wasn’t made earlier.

“Now we’ve already spent money on demolition,” he stated. “We’ve already spent money on surveys and engineering. And then we are possibly going to move to a different site because of this foundation issue that we possibly have. Why wasn’t this in the beginning of the presentation, when this was brought to the council for this particular site?”

Langston stated it wasn’t found on the time of demolition, solely by latest surveys. But, she added, engineers indicated there should be methods of persevering with with the deliberate development.

“Do we know how much material is under that two feet of field dirt?” Councilman Kenneth Marks requested.

“Not precisely,” Langston stated. “Those records were submitted over to PGAL and they will provide us with information as part of their recommendation.”

Langford agreed to return to council with an replace as quickly as a advice was made.


The metropolis operates an animal shelter on 4th Street that started going through immense overcrowding after Hurricane Harvey in 2017.

Built in 1978, the power holds roughly 30 animals along with 16 kennels used for overcrowding. Last month, City Manager Ron Burton gave council an replace on stray canine, which included a abstract of exercise from Animal Control.

In the month of September, he stated, the division of 5 animal management officers investigated 416 calls, seized 196 animals, coordinated 30 rescues, and returned 10 animals to their homeowners.