Animal shelter design woes anger Zine
By Rick Orlov
Los Angeles City Councilman Dennis Zine issued a sharp rebuke Monday as the heavy rain flooding Los Angeles recently has exposed problems at some new city animal shelters, where plastic sheeting is being used to protect animals and prevent flooding in kennels.
Zine said use of the sheeting at the city's Northeast Animal Center at 3201 Lacy St. is an affront to taxpayers who approved a $160 million bond in 2000 to build seven new shelters.
Told Monday that the city now might need to pay $180,000 or more from the bond to correct deficiencies in the shelter designs - modeled after shelters used in Pasadena - Zine erupted.
"How often do we have to ask the taxpayers to pay for our mistakes?" Zine said. "This is outrageous. I get so frustrated at the incompetence I see happening over and over."
Zine was told the city had worked with the humane community to develop and approve modern designs for the shelters that now make it difficult to require contractors to make repairs without compensation.
"What bothers me is the lack of oversight on these facilities," Zine said. "They designed these and I'm not sure they really looked at our needs here. Here we have brand new shelters and we have tarps up to protect the animals.
"What I want is for the contractor to pay ... to fix the problems. But I want a report on all these shelters." Zine said residents alerted him to the problem and said he understands there might be similar problems at shelters in the San Fernando Valley.
Councilman Ed Reyes asked for a report on problems at each of the shelters, along with steps needed to improve the facilities.
Comment: What is not mentioned here is it is the City's engineering department that designed and oversaw the project, but Linda Gordon told the engineering dept. what she wanted. Nothing is mentioned about input from the animal community.
From the Engineering Dept. website:
Program Manager - Bureau of Engineering: Kiran Vohra
Dept. Animal Services Representative: Linda Gordon
Project Managers - Bureau of Engineering: Al Bazzi; Alan Espiritu; Pradeep Ranade; Hoi Van Luc.