For months, the Ad Hoc Animal Shelter Facility Study Committee has been trying to raise $100,000, a $100,000 goal that was given to them by First Selectman Dan Steward. The animal shelter committee believed if they raised that amount of money, the town would seriously consider , where Steward is saying that was never the case.
The group, after a large donation from , has now raised $78,000, just $22,000 away. However, when interviewed, Steward said even if the group raised $100,000,
“Nobody ever said if you get $100,00 you are going to get a brand new shelter,” Steward said Tuesday. “I never said that. I said if you make a goal, and raise some money, the Board of Finance might listen to you and allow you to get some additional money. I do not have a way to fund a brand-new animal shelter.”
According to meeting minutes from the animal shelter committee’s Nov. 7, 2011 meeting, Committee Co-Chairwoman Robin Perkins said she obtained a goal of $100,000 from Steward. That goal was printed in an advertisement in The Day newspaper as an enticement to get people to donate money, according to meeting minutes.
When asked Tuesday why he would give a goal, Steward said it was to give the group a target. He also said he set the $100,000 goal “expecting it is going to take them five years to get there,” and the group is on pace to do it much faster than that.
“If you don’t have a goal, then what number are you going to shoot for?” Steward said. “You have to have a goal. So you put a goal out there.”
Perkins, when asked Monday night, refused to comment either way on Steward’s comments. The committee is going to raise as much money as possible, and not get locked into “he said, she said,” she said.
“We are going to keep fundraising and fundraising, even if we have to raise all the money ourselves,” Perkins said. “That’s all we want to do, we are going to stay positive. We want to stay out of the political stuff.”
No Animal Shelter At All?
The animal shelter committee has raised, as mentioned, just more than $78,000 for a new animal shelter. They also are raising money in a separate budget to renovate the existing shelter, and are getting much of the supplies and work for that donated, according to Perkins.
Steward said if the shelter is renovated, it might be good enough for the animals. There are many other needs that town has to address, and the animal shelter just has to be livable, he said.
“Maybe they don’t need a new animal shelter,” Steward said. “What’s wrong with the walls of the building we have? They could renovate it... It’s a Motel 6, not a Marriot.”