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Published on May 23, 2024
Montgomery County Reels at 'Astronomical' $84M Animal Shelter Quote, Seeks Cost-Cutting AlternativesSource: Unsplash/ 12photostory

In taxpayer dollar drama, Montgomery County has deemed the initially estimated $84 million price tag for a new animal shelter "astronomical," as County Judge Mark Keough put it. Following sticker shock over the potential cost, the commissioners court circles back to find savings. This fiscal reevaluation initiative will set the county back another $18,000 dedicated to assessing the private study provided earlier by Houston-based design firm PGAL, reports the Houston Chronicle.

The current shelter, struggling under the load of constant repairs since 2015, and continuous overcrowding, for its facility that officially can hold 180 medium-to-large dogs, but now houses nearly 300. The new assessment by AGCM Inc., is expected to fish out where pennies can be pinched in the glitzy proposal that boasts space for hundreds of furry friends, according to the Community Impact.

While PGAL conceived a palatial 100,854-square-foot facility catering to 462 canines and 205 felines, the more prudent alternative slims down to just 49,950 square feet, housing 190 dogs, and 100 cats with a less shocking $41 million cost. But even that second option is far from chump change, drawing scrutiny and desires for a cost-effective solution from government officials, “We have already gotten the PGAL [study] to give us information on what it would cost to put together our animal shelter; needless to say, it’s astronomical,” Keough said in a statement obtained by Community Impact.

The ongoing saga collides with the county's ambitious road and infrastructure bond planning slated for discussion in June. Animal shelter renovations and construction trump the list of necessities, vying for prioritization with new tax offices, and even a county courthouse. In a climate of budget crunches, Judge Keough has tabled bond talks till more accurate figures can be had, in an effort, to safeguard taxpayer interests and provide an accurate portrayal of each bond's implications, noted in the May 21 meeting and shared by the Community Impact.

Montgomery County's animal shelter predicament underscores the balance of fiscal responsibility with the demands of an aging facility in dire need of an upgrade. As the commissioners court navigates its budgetary labyrinth, the dogs and cats of Montgomery County wait with bated breath, albeit unaware, for the outcome of this multimillion-dollar decision.

Houston-Real Estate & Development