Unnamed benefactor improves conditions for Norwalk’s strays

The Land Use and Building Management Committee on July 02

Stray or lost animals will have a more comfortable stay in Norwalk thanks to an unnamed benefactor who bequeathed $331,000 to the City to improve its pound.

Police Chief James Walsh outlined the proposed enhancements, made by the animal control officers, at a meeting of the Norwalk Land Use and Building Management Committee last week.

They include extending the back of the pound, providing a fenced area for dogs to run, and improving drainage. “The facility hasn’t had any money spent on that building in quite a few years, so it does need some work,” Walsh noted. “They [workers at the animal shelter] are doing a great job … and I’m looking forward to this project.”

The improvements will be made by contractor 4 You LLC, with a maximum price of $184,300 and an $18,430 cap on additional change orders. The project, unanimously approved by the committee, will now advance to the Common Council.

The committee also reviewed a request to allocate an additional $3 million from the city’s capital budget for the ongoing renovation of Lockwood-Mathews Mansion. The state will reimburse the city. In the meantime, the money will be used to pay the contractor and keep the project on track, according to Alan Lo, the building and facilities manager overseeing the funding release.

“We are using the City to support and manage the project so that we can continue to pay the contract in a timely fashion,” Lo said. 

The mansion, a National Historic Landmark as well as a popular museum, is having electricity brought to the second and third floors, along with a fire suppression system and a new heating system so it can remain open through the winter. Renovations will continue through mid-December, with the museum expected to open two to three months later. 

The state-mandated removal of underground storage tanks at Brookside Elementary School and Tracy Magnet School was the committee’s third order of business, requiring a signoff from committee Chair Barbara Smyth.

Bill Hodel, director of facilities and maintenance for Norwalk Public Schools, said: “When the state asks for it, they are not asking for Common Council approval. They are asking the school use committee, which is the Land Use Building Management Committee chairman, to sign off.” 

The project includes creating blueprints and cost estimates, and must be completed within two years. Holden explained that the tanks, which stored fuel oil, have a 30-year life expectancy. In response to a question from Smyth, Hodel said due to budget constraints, renewable energy options were not feasible at this time.


2 responses to “Unnamed benefactor improves conditions for Norwalk’s strays”

  1. Priscilla Feral

    How nice to learn about such a kind gift to upgrade Norwalk’s pound for to benefit lost and abandoned dogs and cats. These days especially, we’re likely nourished by acts of kindness. Also, abandonment of dogs and cats is at epidemic levels across the nation.

    An improved animal shelter helps adoptions and the animals who need someone to love and care for them the rest of their lives. The anonymous benefactor’s gift was heaven-sent.

  2. Jo Bennett

    Love this. When our residents struggle, their pets are often left behind and not taken into account.

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