Saipan Mayor’s Office special assistant Henry Hofschneider said a new animal shelter facility would be built in Lower Base after the original was damaged by Typhoon Soudelor in August last year.
The Saipan Mayor’s Office animal shelter was heavily damaged when Soudelor ripped through the island with the facility’s tin roof, windows, and part of the walls torn apart like paper by the typhoon’s tornado-like winds.
“It is like building a new one. We’re going to build from the ground up and put the facility back to where it was before. Better and stronger materials will be used,” said Hofschneider, who added that they are set to receive public assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
“We submitted a public assistance application to FEMA and they approved it on Dec. 18, 2015. That’s why we want to get the project going.”
Hofschneider added that they are also hoping construction of the animal shelter would only take three months since dogs housed at the Lower Base facility are already getting sick.
Volunteers from the Saipan Cares for Animals have been taking care of the dogs and several cats, which were either caught by the Saipan Mayor’s Animal Control Office. Most of the animals are getting sick since they are getting wet when it rains.
The Saipan Mayor’s Office is now waiting for the Department of Public Works to finish developing the scope of work, drawings, and plans for the new facility in order for the project to move forward with the bidding process.
“DPW is doing the drawing and the specifications that would comply with the electrical and building codes. Hope all necessary documents needed to start with the bidding process would be completed for the project to get going,” Hofschneider said.
FEMA has awarded $300,000 for the repair of the animal shelter, which is near the estimate that the Saipan Mayor’s Office submitted when they applied for the public assistance program.
The Saipan Mayor’s Office will also be receiving more than $355,000 from FEMA as reimbursement for what they spent in removing typhoon-related debris in the villages. The CNMI central government would release FEMA’s monetary aid.
“As much as possible we want the project to go in the bidding process so construction could start once a winning contractor is awarded the project. We’re hoping it would only take two months to finish the animal shelter and not more than three months. Some of the materials will be shipped.”
Volunteers and staff of the Animal Control Office have also been busy assisting veterinarians Dr. Jennifer Landis and technician Bambi Leone with the Mayor’s Office’s spay and neuter program since Jan. 4. The program ends on Feb. 4.