Councillors to decide pound future

WITH the December 10 deadline looming for the Southern Downs Regional Council to upgrade its facilities in Warwick and Stanthorpe to meet the new Animal Management Act, the pressure is on to come to a decision about the new Warwick Pound.

Councillors were yesterday bunkered down with senior officers nutting out the 2010/11 budget, and will be forced to make a decision about whether to spend a forecasted $400,000 to rebuild the Warwick Pound.

In the past month Council officers have been looking at alternative sites around Warwick for the new pound, however at the Planning and Environment Committee meeting on Tuesday, councillors decided to stick with the current Wentworth Street site.

Planning and Environment director Ken Harris said the existing site was well-suited to have a high-impact operation like a pound.

“There are homes in the vicinity of the (Warwick) pound, but we also have a Council sewerage facility, bacon fac- tory land to the north and the east which they own, and then we have the Council cemetery and other public facilities, including Henry Joppich Park nearby,” he said.

“There is a lot of publicly-owned land or land controlled by the abattoir which should prevent residential impact.

“We already have a degree of impact because we’re there now. The new pound (if it is approved in the 2010/11 budget) won’t cater for a lot more dogs and cats; it will just be rebuilt to meet current standards.”

Mr Harris said RSPCA was currently conducting an assessment to see if it would be viable for them to come in and run the Warwick Pound and they would present a proposal to Council once this was complete.

The other sites which Council looked at were Morgan Park, the Warwick Saleyards and the SDRC Yangan Road Depot.

Mr Harris said the other facilities were not suitable.

“There were some advantages (to a different site) but when you sat down and weighed all of the issues it came down to the decision that the best site is the current site,” he said.

“It’s convenient – we didn’t want the pound an excessive distance out of town.”

Pound facts

New Warwick Pound expected to cost about $400,000, if approved.

Must upgrade facilities to allow for cats before December 10.

Council decided to stick with Wentworth Street site for any future Warwick pound.

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