Stafford helps build Missouri City animal shelter
By Elsa Maxey
The City of Stafford recently authorized payment of $100,000 to Missouri City for the redesign and construction of Missouri City’s Animal Shelter. That’s where Stafford also houses its stray animals caught in their city. Missouri City is proceeding with the construction of a larger facility and it may ask Stafford at some future time to look elsewhere for housing stray animals. But for now, there’s a 10 year agreement that can be terminated by Missouri City at any time after a 60 day notice.
This concerns Stafford. “We signed the agreement because we did not have place for dogs and cats,” said Mayor Leonard Scarcella. He also said that the city needs to start making plans to look into future alternatives. “I don’t think the city should wait until the shoe is going to drop,” which could cost more money for coming up with facility plans and other arrangements to house the city’s stray animals.
Councilmember Wen Guerra told councilmembers that Missouri City will be annexing Sienna Plantation in the near future and that could mean the animal shelter would end up overloaded and may not be able to accommodate Stafford’s needs.
City Attorney Art Pertle said that if Missouri City needs more room in the animal shelter, Stafford would probably know well in advance in addition to the 60 days. Upon termination of the agreement, Stafford would be repaid by Missouri City on a pro rata basis. Stafford’s $100,000 payment to Missouri City will be made in a lump sum and come out of a $4 million plus account that Stafford city officials are guarding not to have go under $4 million.
Councilmember Robert Sorbet said it would “behoove the city” to start planning in the near future for the next contingency given the likelihood that “Missouri City will outgrow a facility that Stafford is helping pay for.”
A 17-acre school property was mentioned as a possibility and even what could turn out to be a missed opportunity. Councilmember Cecil Willis said Fort Bend County has been looking at the possibility of an animal facility on the east side of the county, and other local government entities that include Stafford and possibly Meadows Place could factor into a joint effort.
The approval of the arrangement with Missouri City at this time was referred to as a place holder that will still allow the city to look into future alternatives. For now, the city would not like to be “left out on a limb” two to three or five years from now. It will soon begin plans for other alternatives.