Plan "A" was to build a new regional animal shelter in Westbrook that would be shared by two towns for a total of between $275,000 - $300,000, with help from a $100,000 state grant.
The idea made sense, mainly because Westbrook was losing their existing animal shelter to make way for additional train station parking and gaining a new town garage at the existing state Department of Transportation (DOT) facility off Route 145. The new animal shelter was planned to be part of the town garage/DOT complex.
But then folks such as State Representative James Crawford, Clinton First Selectman Willie Fritz, Westbrook First Selectman Noel Bishop, and Clinton Selectman (and State Representative-elect) Tom Vicino, put their heads together and figured that renovating the existing Clinton facility and regionalizing its services and costs would save money.
Enter Plan "B."
"We decided that it made sense to renovate the Clinton facility," said Crawford. "The size was almost the same and it will be shared by Clinton and Westbrook with a potential for Killingworth."
The Clinton Animal Shelter is located on the grounds of the Department of Public Works facility on Nod Road.
Luckily, the $100,000 Small Town Economic Assistance Program (STEAP) grant could be transferred from the original plan to the current one.
Vicino said that bids for the renovation work have been sent to potential firms and that the work should begin soon, with a two to three month time frame to complete, depending upon the weather.
"This facility will look and function the same as the new one planned for Westbrook but at a zero cost to taxpayers," said Vicino. "This facility is just one of many regional projects we'd like to address that can help save money."
Bishop agreed, adding that regional projects are a benefit to the communities.
"Because we worked together on this and collaborated, we can deliver excellent services at a reduced cost," said Bishop. "You hear a lot about regionalizing - this is a prime example of one that works."