Seekonk Voters Approve Animal Shelter
Voters in Seekonk approved the ballot question for a new animal shelter at the local election on April 3. The ballot question vote was 816 in favor and 294 against for a temporary tax increase through a debt exclusion of the Proposition 2 ½ tax limiting law.
At last month’s special town meeting, residents voted to put the question on the ballot. Originally the plans were to put an addition on the current shelter, but the cost was too high and the town and building committee felt it made more sense financially to construct a whole new shelter.
The shelter is expected to cost up to $950,000 for design, construction and furnishing. The tax increase is expected to be approximately $12 annually on an average $300,000 home, and may be less. The Save-a-Pet Society has committed $200,000 to the project. In a debt exclusion, the tax increase goes away after the bond is paid.
The proposed design for the new shelter includes offices, dog kennels, cat area, waiting room, exam room, laundry room, food prep room, quarantine area, and rest rooms. “I’m totally ecstatic. It’s long overdue and it’s very much needed,” said Pat Cloutier, President of Save-a-Pet and Chairperson of the Animal Shelter Building Committee. Supporters of the project had said that the conditions at the animal shelter are “deplorable” for both animals and workers. “It’s about time that the people who work at the shelter, the volunteers and the animals got the respect they deserve and have a safe and healthy working environment,” Cloutier said.
Cloutier said the project will take some time, but she is hoping something gets underway by the fall.
In other election news, there was one contested race for water commission. Doug Brown defeated incumbent Christopher Craft for the seat. Brown received 552 votes, Craft had 345 votes and Jeffrey Starr Mararian received 166 votes.
The other races were uncontested, as follows:
Incumbent selectmen Nelson Almeida and David Andrade ran unopposed for reelection to the board.
Incumbent Peter Hoogerzeil ran unopposed for moderator.
Erin Brouillette ran unopposed for a three-year term on the school committee.
Deborah Viveiros ran unopposed for a one-year seat on the school committee.
William Barker and Lynn Cristino ran unopposed for the library board of trustees, a three-year term.
James Tusino ran unopposed for a five-year seat on the housing authority.
Florice Craig, assistant town clerk, ran unopposed for town clerk, a three-year term. Craig takes over from Jan Parker, who is retiring after serving 21 years.
There were open seats for the board of assessors and planning board. Jan Parker received 21 write-in votes for assessor and Jeff Harris received 11 write-ins for planning board.