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All work paused on new Nueces County Animal Control Facility

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Posted at 10:03 PM, Jun 21, 2023
and last updated 2023-06-22 12:04:51-04

ROBSTOWN, Texas — On Wednesday, Nueces County Commissioners decided to pause any work on a new animal control facility. This has been something in the works for years. But what’s the hold up now?

“I'm okay with taking a pause until we get some stability,” John Marez said, Precinct 3 Commissioner.

In early June, commissioners reassigned the Director of Animal Control, putting leadership of the facility in question and a pause on a new facility.

“It’s merely because we’ve had a change in staff," said Marez. "We have an interim, part-time director-manager there at the facility now. And that’s the only reason why we can’t, why we shouldn’t move forward.”

“You know we’re having trouble with our staff. You have a bigger building, you have more staff, you know what I mean. We don’t have the staff,” said Joe A. Gonzalez, Precinct 2 Commissioner.

$4.2 million has been earmarked to build the new animal control facility. The new location is slated to be at the old Robstown Show Barn at 909 E. Ave. J. The current facility is bunched with Marez's office and public works at 4540 Farm to Market Rd. 892.

Marez wants to wait at least 90 days before resuming the discussion on building the new facility. That maps out to the commissioners' Sept. 27 meeting.

With the project in Marez's precinct, he said a few months delay shouldn't push them off course too much, but any more is costly.

"Any time we delay any type of construction, whether it be this or even Bob Hall Pier, we wait, you're talking about the price going up on materials. And, that's my biggest concern with this," said Marez.

Part of the discussion was how they go about looking for new leadership. The county was prepared to post two jobs for an animal control manager and coordinator. They declined to make that decision to post the jobs until their meeting on July 12.

“The case remains that we need a new facility," Marez said. "If you’ve been to the kennels, you’ll see that’s an older facility, and it deserves something that's more centralized and is something new that helps keep better health for the animals, for the workers that are there.”

Commissioners added that they'd hold a special meeting closer to Sept. 27 to iron out more details.

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