Frisco is extending its contract with Collin County Animal Services as some residents continue to advocate for an animal shelter within the city.
On June 18, Frisco City Council unanimously approved the contract extension through 2023 with an automatic renewal term of five years. The contract allows the city to back out if it finds another preferred sheltering option.
Frisco Pet Project is a group of Frisco residents who are advocating for a facility within the city. Several members spoke at the meeting asking the city to delay the vote on the contract with Collin County Animal Services.
Michelle Austin, a Frisco Pet Project member, suggested that the shelter could be "trendsetting," offering veterinary internship opportunities, public space and educational events.
"We have a lot of citizens who work here, play here, who are ready to invest in this type of a model," she said.
In a presentation to the council, Assistant City Manager Ben Brezina said a 16,500-square-foot shelter would cost about $6.6 million to build and $1.5 million in annual operational costs. The contract with Collin County Animal Services is $311,861 for this fiscal year.
Frisco Mayor Jeff Cheney said there are other projects in the city that are on hold because of lack of resources. Until resources are available, he suggested the group reach out to the Collin County Commissioners Court to ask for another county facility closer to Frisco.
"Even if we were ready to start going down the path of building a shelter today, it wouldn't be ready by 2023," he said.
Frisco has had an agreement with Collin County Animal Services to use its animal shelter since 2006. The agreement lasted for 10 years and included yearly automatic renewals each year after that.
The Collin County Animal Shelter was over capacity in late May and early June and offered reduced adoption fees to encourage more people to adopt.
Temporarily lowering adoption fees helped clear some space and has kept animals out of the hallways, but overcrowding is still an issue, Danny Davis, Collin County Animal Services supervisor, said in a previous article.