NBC Connecticut Investigates’ continuing series “At a Price! – The High Cost of Local Town Living” has highlighted efforts by local government to pool resources to save tax dollars.
Many cities and town in Connecticut have their own animal shelters rather than share services, but one local regional animal shelter says it’s seeing the benefits, and another town now wants to be part of it too.
The Tyler Regional Animal Care Shelter houses animals found in the towns of South Windsor, East Hartford, and Manchester, in a renovated firehouse.
Six years after the regional agreement first formed, East Windsor wants to join, because the quality of care, and savings, are too tempting to pass up.
“A better facility for the animals, that’s a lot more humane to them, a lot more friendly, and that’s really what you want to have,” said East Windsor Selectman Charlie Szymanski.
He said East Windsor’s small shelter is almost a half century old, and is in need of expensive repairs if the town wants to keep it running
It’s going to cost roughly $60,000 for East Windsor to update its shelter. Just down the road in South Windsor, it costs $50,000 to run the regional shelter for a whole year.
The towns using the regional shelter said they save money by using one building, one set of staff members, one set of utility bills, one insurance policy, and the list goes on.
Towns pay toward the shelter’s operating expenses based upon how much they use it, explained South Windsor Police Chief Scott Custer.
“What we do is work out an average of what each member town typically brings in for dog days if you will, how many dogs, times, how many days that they spend with us … and it is a significant reduction in cost to every one of the individual towns. There’s economy of scale here.”
While East Windsor will join soon, the regional shelter can add only so many new towns. After that, it might be time for another facility.