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  1. Letter writer neglected to mention the $2 million grant that Cook County is giving towards this project.

    Letter writer also neglected the fact that the City Council has already had the debates, with plenty of public input on both sides, about which building plan to purse for the shelter (e.g., LEED certification level, size, etc.). How exactly is that lacking in “transparency”?

    The real issue is inflation, building costs, and the fact that it has taken the city literally YEARS to give final approval. How much slower does the letter writer want them to go? In the meantime, building prices keep going up. Is inflation disappearing (or in fact, reversing) anytime soon?

    Finally, I would invite letter writer to volunteer at the shelter so he can see that we are actually in desperate need for a new building. It is not a ploy to cheat people out of their tax dollars (I pay property taxes in Evanston and am one of many unpaid volunteers for the shelter). The HVAC fails (and is repaired, and fails again) constantly in the summer. There are no windows in the cinder-block building for backup ventilation. The kennel often floods. It’s not fun to be washing dozens of water and food bowls, in a kitchen smaller than that of most studio apartments, while others are preparing meals for all of animals. There is just one small adoption room for the whole place (cats and dogs). All of the above causes us to lose out on adopters and volunteers. It’s a cramped, crumbling place, and both the pets and people of Evanston deserve better.

  2. I couldn’t agree more with Brian. The City always has to balance cost vs. benefits in any project. I guess I am old -fashioned but I have always felt humans came before the pets they love and care for. Why not have a competition among young Evanston-based architects and builders for a new AFFORDABLE shelter design that would be responsible and fulfill the needs. Reused materials, teen apprentices involved in the construction, bricks or boards contributed by Evanstonians in memory of a beloved pet; the possibilities are endless. Let’s do this the Evanston way!

    Mary Brugliera

    1. This isn’t a kindergarten art project, Mary. Would you want to live in a structure built with inexperience and hand-me-down materials? The “Evanston way” is progressive, green, sustainable, and most livable, right? Too many of the city’s facilities are literally crumbling. Let’s support the investment in a plan primed to get it right the first time.

  3. This all makes good sense and I hope all involved with do as suggested. The cost is simply too high for the finished product. Take your time and due your homework.