EATON — Preble County Commissioners have been working on updating the kennels at the dog warden’s facility, but due to unsatisfactory bids the project has not yet begun.
However, after an inspection of the area, commissioners reported they will not be replacing the kennels, and instead make needed updates to the existing facility.
The topic came up during the meeting on both Monday, July 23 and Wednesday, July 25.
On Monday, July 23, Administrative Assistant Kim Keller explained the project was meant to be completed before the end of the year, but Eagle Fence withdrew its bid after receiving that time limit, and JR Enterprises had a significantly higher bid the board did not pursue.
Eagle Fence submitted a bid of $15,500, with JR Enterprises bidding $21,056, but the commissioners noted, JR Enterprises has more experience with dog kennels.
The board had a tour planned that day to go over the project and discuss needed updates.
The topic came back up on Wednesday, July 25, after the board had the opportunity to tour the existing facility and see what updates were needed.
“I walked in and at first I had to question why we were thinking about replacing them,” Commissioner Rodney Creech said. Then, when I saw how much ‘damage’ there was to them, I thought, ‘That’s it?’ To me its like replacing [something] with a dent in it. There are issues, but those issues can be fixed.”
“We have replaced fencing down there over the years,” Commissioner Denise Robertson added. “You can tell that is not the same fencing from 1976 or whatever he said.”
“The way I look at it is, the service we provide with the dog warden is a cost. We are having to pay $15,000 out of the general fund, because there is not enough revenue generated. If it was revenue positive, we could invest into it, but we have 20 cages with only seven being used. The damage is minimum,” Creech said.
“They pointed out the rust, but surface rust doesn’t mean the product is not performing correctly. To me, I think, we can flip the center panels upside down and have brand new panels at the top. To me, that is no-brainer. We can have someone come in for way less than $5,000 to fix the ‘damage.’ I cannot see dropping $15-$20,000.”
Robertson added, “I don’t know how often he uses all 20 cages. Does he always put them in the same cages? Why not use the ones that never get used, or rarely get used.”
“I’m glad I went down there, because as soon as I did I said, ‘This does not need [replaced],’” Creech said.
Robertson said, “I think it’s a good thing our bids fell apart.”
Commissioners are intending on fixing what damages there are to the facility, flipping the center panels, and providing dividers for some of the cages (so aggressive dogs cannot see each other.)
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH