An open letter to the Allen County commissioners:
For the past year, I have had the privilege of working with the hundreds of cats and dogs who have made their way to the Allen County Animal Rescue Facility. They arrived for a number of reasons and in vastly differing conditions. Most were simply lost or homeless. Some were loved, but were given up by owners who had insurmountable financial or health problems. Others were survivors of cruelty or abandonment, sometimes barely living when they came through our door. Although a few of these animals were beyond the reach of care or kindness, most of them have been wonderfully resilient. As they recovered their strength, they also regained their desire to connect with people. It is humbling when an animal who has suffered unspeakably at the hands of a human still seeks out a human hand for affection.
Before ACARF existed, the future of these beautiful dogs and cats would have been bleak. Maybe, with luck, a few could have found someone to take them in. More likely, they would have roamed the area, living lives of fear, starvation, and sickness before dying unmerciful deaths. Since July of 2010, however, ACARF has been there to take in these lost souls. At ACARF, they have been given the rehabilitative help they needed to be healthy. They have also received the loving attention of staff and volunteers. These efforts have met with remarkable success: in its first year, the shelter was able to reunite 62 pets with their families and adopt out another 254.
Now, ACARF and the animals it serves desperately need your help.
Without the support of Allen County, the Allen County Animal Rescue Facility will not survive. Obviously, times are tough and budgets are stretched, but responsibility is rarely convenient. And we have an ethical responsibility to be good stewards for these animals who cannot care for themselves.
Please help ACARF through this difficult period. It’s not just the right thing to do; it will also make Allen County a better and healthier community for us all.
When I was informed that Allen County was planning to build a new hospital, I thought that the parcel of land my niece and I own would be a perfect location for it as this piece of property adjoins the Walmart store property north of Iola, and contains 16-plus acres which has access from Patterson Avenue, Miller Road and an easement from North State Street plus the property has all city utilities and sewer available. If more land is needed, I’m sure there is land in close proximity that could be purchased.
Quite frankly, I was surprised, that we were never contacted by the planning commission about purchasing our property. Then when I learned that they were having problems with the two other parcels that were being considered for building on, such as inadequate sewers, utilities needing to be run under streets of the city of Iola and having to go to court to decide a right of eminent domain as some of the property owners didn’t want to sell. After hearing this information, I was even more amazed that we had not been contacted about our property.
I spoke with Mayor Bill Shirley by phone asking why our property wasn’t being considered for the new hospital. Mayor Shirley informed me that he had nothing to do with it and that I would have to contact one of the people on the building commission which I did, but they never returned my call. The mayor also informed me during our conversation, “that the decision to build where they had decided was being made mostly by the doctors and nurses,” which again surprised me, as I’d think this should be something the taxpayers would decide, not a small group of special interest people, after all, it’s the taxpayer’s money they are going to use to purchase land and build with.
From what I’ve been told, taxpayers (which I’m one of) are going to spend quite a large sum to run sewer, utilities, plus court cost, not to mention other studies and a redesign of the building that will be required to build where they are planning.
We have informed the building commission that we will sell them our property with all utilities and sewer already available at a price the land has been appraised for, which would be a huge savings to the taxpayers, a great location for the new hospital and clinics and I’m certain Walmart, Russell Stover Candies and the other businesses surrounding the property would welcome the additional traffic created by the new hospital.
We understand the commission is meeting again on July 26 at 7 p.m. in the current hospital at which time we hope our property will be given due consideration.