Longview task force seeks shelter answer - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Longview task force seeks shelter answer

LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) -

After a second meeting of a newly formed task force, time is now a factor in trying to come up with an alternative way to deal with the problem of stray animals in one East Texas city.

Operation Save the Animals, the City of Longview's task force, is dealing with a time sensitive issue: The Humane Society of Northeast Texas will stop taking animals within two years.

"Over the next two years they'll phase out of collecting our animals, that we've got to come up with a long term plan," says Longview Mayor Jay Dean.

"I think we have to build a completely new facility," says task force board member Doctor Ken Glaze.

But a new shelter could mean a bond issue, tax dollars and require staff.

"There's no question that a new facility is needed. If it comes down that the city's going to build a facility that's going to go before the voters because its probably going to include some form of tax increase to pay for it and let the voters decide," Dean says.

They have 90 days to come up with an answer. Another years contract with the shelter, comes with a 23 percent rate hike. A payment of over $200,000.

"Its costing us 200,000 a year right now by ourselves and you've still got people upset on both sides of this issue. Right now there's five or six cities in Gregg County alone that are using that shelter," Dean says.

September 2014 the shelter will stop taking animals, and no one wants a kill shelter.

"If we have to go the voters of Longview we want to make sure its something that makes sense to them," Dean says.

The task force has roughly until December to make its recommendations.

The shelter is currently running above capacity.

Copyright 2012 KLTV. All rights reserved.

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