Friday, September 11, 2015

Pets Alive Struggles To Stay

 Pets Alive Westchester recently closed their doors due to the condemnation of their building by the Town of Greenburgh Building Department. Then they held a marathon pet "sale", and consolidated the remaining animals to their Middletown, NY, location. The obvious and remaining question is how the building was allowed to get to such a state of disrepair before reaching a point of condemnation? Structural cracks were increasing the danger of continued use of the building.  Approximately $50k had been spent in an attempt to secure the building. The location is near Brookfield Recycling and has had construction, truck traffic and other contributing factors that are thought to have affected the Pets Alive structure.

Town Building Department officials forced Pets Alive to shut the building down citing it was an non-repairable building and many volunteers were devastated by the news of the projected closing. Many of the animals there were "long-timers" due to either their "bite" history or unfriendly to human beings making them difficult to adopt. The costs associated with an adoption at the time of their regular operation was anywhere from $125 to $300. High operating costs were also a contributing factor towards the closing.

In July it was determined that the deed from the Town to the Pets Alive property had a stipulation that the not for profit could not sell the property for a profit. The property was sold by the Town to Pets Alive for $10 for use as a no-kill animal shelter only. Since its only use could be as an animal shelter, failure to do that would force the property to be returned to the Town for municipal use. No public determination has been expressed toward returning the property to the Town. In fact, it has been quite the contrary. However, Mr Feiner has said one solution might be transferring the deed of the property to another management company and the other is for the property to first be returned to the Town and then to a new manager. However, this "solution" would again saddle the cost of repairs or replacement upon the Unincorporated taxpayer. ABG believes this is unacceptable!

Sadly, we've experienced Mr Feiner's incompetence in choosing management companies for other Town projects. His inability to find and choose established and capable management companies has literally cost the Town's Unincorporated taxpayers millions of dollars! While the building is not the responsibility of the Town, if the Town resumes ownership, the Unincorporated taxpayers will be "on the hook" for necessary repairs. While we disagree with this path,  ABG believes the Town should stay with Pets Alive and work closely with them to get their building back to a habitable state. The Town's overburdened taxpayer does not need to foot the bill for another Feiner Folly. It's time for this administration to focus on running the Town, not grabbing headlines. Only then will we get A Better Greenburgh.

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