Work on new animal shelter to begin

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The Saipan Mayor’s Office expects to start the construction of a 5,550-square-foot animal shelter in the next few months.

According to Saipan mayor special assistant Henry Hofschneider, they are at the tail end of the redesign process for the new kennel and is looking at another three months before a construction contract is finalized.

The original kennel in Lower Base was destroyed in 2015 as a result of Typhoon Soudelor.

The building was condemned after the typhoon. Since then, the Dog Control Program has been housing stray dogs in a temporary shelter in As Perdido.

After Soudelor, the mayor’s office received a $361,406.38 grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to build a new animal shelter

Hofschneider said a complete design and architectural plan should be ready for review by Saipan Mayor David M. Apatang in the next two months.

“Within the next month or two, the Office of the Mayor of Saipan should be receiving a complete architectural and engineering design, construction scope of work, and other requirements from the Department of Public Works Technical Services Division for Mayor Apatang’s review and decision to accept or not,” said Hofschneider.

If Apatang accepts the proposal, it will still be submitted to the Public Assistance Office of the Governor for review. After that, the plan will be transmitted to FEMA for review, evaluation, and processing of paperwork.

“The proposed project must go through the review of regulatory permitting agencies, both federal and local, before the project is even announced for solicitation of bids,” said Hofschneider.

According to Hofschneider, the estimate for the development of a construction contract is about three months minimum.

“Bottom line, we are looking at least another three months before bids are received and evaluated and a construction contract entered into. But the timeline here are all estimates,” he said.

Although the office was approved $361,406.38 for a new shelter, Hofschneider said they are still required to pay 10 percent of the construction cost.

“FEMA has a requirement that the awardees pay for a certain percentage of the total project cost for some projects, and the animal shelter is one such project. So for our project cost estimate of $361,406.38, our share should be around $36,140.64. Our share will be paid from our general fund budget,” said Hofschneider.

The new animal shelter will be built on a portion of the Department of Lands and Natural Resources As Perdido property and will be approximately 5,550 square feet, nearly the same size as the old shelter that was destroyed.

Kimberly B. Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Albiso Bautista has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at kimberly_bautista@saipantribune.com.

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