San Antonio/ Real Estate & Development
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Published on June 24, 2024
Converse Animal Shelter Struggles with Road Construction Disruptions and Flooding, Seeks City AccountabilitySource: Google Street View

The Converse Animal Shelter, burdened for two years by a construction project which has impeded its operations, now contends with the added insult of flooding due to recent downpours. Lezlie Grimes, the president of the shelter, raised alarms about the ongoing roadwork that began in the summer of 2022, lamenting both the persistent disruption and the scant communication from those in charge of the road construction, as KENS 5 reported.

The shelter's proximity to the road-widening works near Judson High School has resulted in a parking lot utilized for storing construction materials without direct consent and also in occasional isolation due to unintended water barriers form from the splash-over, hindering access for staff, visitors, and donors alike, which only compounds the frustration difficult it makes to ensure the shelter's essential services continue to run smoothly. According to an interview with KENS 5, Grimes said, "In summer of 2022 it started, and ever since then, constantly we've had something been going on," indicating a drawn-out struggle with the construction's fallout.

Christian Collazo, a kennel technician at the shelter, expressed exasperation over the situation. Staff, volunteers, and visitors have had to navigate through inches of water to enter the premises, emphasizing that the burden of the road expansion, ostensibly for the benefit of the school and local traffic, has been unfairly displaced onto the animal shelter. As per a discussion with KSAT, Collazo commented, "I think it’s ridiculous, I mean, I don’t think that’s something we should have to deal with when the expansion of the road doesn’t benefit us."

With no discernible assistance or clear communication from city officials, despite attempts to reach them for comment and solutions, the shelter feels overlooked; they find themselves raising money to relocate the entrance to mitigate the risks posed by the heavy, close-encroaching traffic along the shelter's frontage – demonstrating the shelter's willingness to adapt despite the hardships imposed. "We don't feel that we should be fully responsible financially for all of this that has been done to our private property for this construction," Grimes told KENS 5, voicing a call not for compensation but for accountability from the city and the construction firm alike.

The shelter's plight, amidst the unwanted extension of the Rocket Lane construction, is set to take center stage at a Converse City Council meeting on July 2, where they aim to highlight the severity of these issues, in a bid to finally garner the much-needed attention and remedial action for the daily challenges they, and by connection the animals they care for, continue to grapple with.