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February 17, 2021 - 9:15am

County committee approves use of donations to enhance renovations at Genesee County Animal Shelter

The Genesee County Legislature’s Public Service Committee on Tuesday voted in favor of appropriating more than $11,000 in citizen donations to the ongoing renovation project at the Genesee County Animal Shelter at 3841 W. Main Street Road.

The approved resolution calls for using $11,437 in donations in order for contractors to epoxy coat additional flooring and provide fenced-in tops to the moveable kennels that are proposed for the “stray side” of the shelter.

Highway Superintendent Tim Hens, in reporting to the committee, said these items were not included in the original plan.

Afterward, he went into more detail about the project, which has a price tag of more than $220,000.

“The floors are being resealed and re-epoxied, primarily for bacteria control and cleaning,” he said. “The what we call ‘stray side’ of the kennel – the naughty side of the kennel, per se – is basically being redone. We’re putting automatic flush drains in the floor drain so that cleaning and sanitation can happen easier and quicker.”

Other improvements, mostly to facilitate the housing of dogs, include weatherization, regrouting and the introduction of mobile kennels, he said.

“There’s the weatherization of the enclosure around the kennels so that the external portions of the kennels are heated and conditioned as well as the inside. We are doing substantial regrouting and repointing of all the block and tile work in between the actual kennels themselves,” he said.

Hens said the pole barn-type building “looks nice on the outside” but is 20 years old, resulting in the rotting out of materials and ground that are constantly exposed to urine, feces and water.

“That is being replaced, and we’re swapping out for mobile kennels, primarily so the volunteers and the staff can move kennels around,” he added. “We’re trying to create a quarantine space for contaminated animals and things like that.”

The number of animals at the shelter, which is under the supervision of the Sheriff’s Office, varies from week to week, he said, noting that recently there were 57 dogs and cats at the facility.

Construction is underway, he said, but has been delayed a bit due to COVID-19-related supply-chain issues. He said he hopes to have the work finished by April.

In other action, the committee approved the following resolutions, which will be forwarded to the Ways & Means Committee and/or the entire legislature for final voting:

  • Extension of a contract with GLOW Counties and Environmental Enterprises Inc. for the GLOW Household Hazardous Waste Collection Program at a cost not to exceed $33,000 for 2021.

GLOW Solid Waste Coordinator Peggy Grayson said the county has contracted with GLOW Counties and Environmental Enterprises for 17 years and has received exceptional service. She said collection of household goods is scheduled for Sept. 18 at the Wyoming County Highway Department in Rock Glen and collection of electronics will take place on Sept. 25.

  • Amending the Sheriff’s Office budget to use $79,921 this year in available grant funding from the Division of Homeland Security & Emergency Services, New York State Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee and an agreement with the Village of Bergen to provide additional services.

The grants include two DHSES grants ($47,661), a NYS GTSC Police Traffic Services Grant ($27,000) and the Village of Bergen agreement ($5,260).

Sheriff William Sheron said the DHSES money will be used to place laptop computers, radios and other communications equipment in patrol cars, while the Police Traffic Services Grant funds will be used to pay overtime necessary to support the program’s requirements.

Available funds from the Village of Bergen contract will be used as warranted to provide additional patrols in the village during the spring and summer months, he said.

The committee also accepted a $2,000 grant for the Sheriff’s Office to participate in the statewide Child Passenger Safety Program between Oct. 1, 2020 and Sept. 30, 2021.

Sheron said deputies would be available to show people how to properly install child safety car seats and to provide seats, if necessary.

  • Approval of special events applications at the Genesee County Park and Forest, a memorandum of understanding and a donation to support a Student Conservation Association internship as the county continues its relationship with the Association for Conservation of Recreational and Natural Spaces.

The ACORNS group will be using the park for a music event on Aug. 7 and a 5K/10K trail run and walk fundraiser on Oct. 3. Proceeds are used to assist the county with future programming, donations and other support.

The memorandum of understanding solidifies ACORNS’ standing with the county, according to Highway Superintendent Hens, who reported the organization has grown from 16 to 50 members who help the county promote the park.

ACORNS has donated $5,700 to the county to fund a 16-week, full-time SCA intern, whose responsibilities will include overseeing volunteers and assisting with environmental education.

Legislator Christian Yunker praised ACORNS, stating that the group “does tremendous things to support the county park.”

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