By Pam Johnson/ • 03/05/2022 09:18 AM EST

North Branford City Council will ask its finance committee to further consider whether North Branford will help fund a share of the capital costs for the $4.595 million Dan Cosgrove Animal Shelter facility expansion and renovation project. dollars from Branford which is ongoing.

The current cost-sharing proposal being considered by North Branford involves amended wording proposed by Branford in July 2021 amending the capital cost-sharing provision of the Municipal Services Sharing Agreement between the two cities for the use Branford accommodation services. The agreement began in 2005 and is based on population.

The amended wording provides North Branford with capital expenditure cost-sharing savings by allowing payment of one-third of capital project expenditures on a net cost basis after any fundraising. Currently, the Cosgrove Shelter project receives strong fundraising support from the ongoing cosgrovesavinglives campaign.

Under the current wording of the agreement, North Branford must pay one-third of gross capital expenditures. Without the amended wording, North Branford’s costs for the shelter expansion/renovation project, as estimated in July 2021, would be approximately $1,816,444 over 15 years. With the wording changed, assuming the fundraising campaign raised $895,000, North Branford’s cost would be approximately $1,425,600; a saving of approximately $390,844.

As of March 2, funds raised through cosgrovesavinglives totaled over $1,548,000.

A sticking point that continues to be raised by board members when discussing the proposed amendment wording in the agreement is that, while the facility and staff provide exemplary monitoring and animal housing, the building is owned and operated by the City of Branford; and North Branford’s significant monetary contribution to the capital expenditures of the Project will not create an equity interest for North Branford in that parcel of land.

Other options the council has discussed that North Branford could consider include entering into a municipal service sharing agreement with another city in the area or possibly investing in the development of a animals in North Branford.

Referred to Finance Committee

At the North Branford City Council meeting on March 1, Mayor Jeffrey Macmillen said a recent meeting with Branford city leaders to further discuss the proposed amendment resulted in the determination that North Branford should continue to review the proposal and wait until the bulk of fundraising efforts are concluded to determine the final costs North Branford would face. He said a positive sign was the significant amount of money raised by the shelter’s ongoing fundraising campaign.

Macmillen then proposed removing the item from the city council agenda and forwarding it to the finance committee for further review and assessment. The board supported forwarding the article to the finance committee, in the hope that the board will receive the committee’s recommendation to revisit the issue in late July or August, when the shelter renovations should be complete and that the majority of campaign fundraising efforts concluded.

Meanwhile, North Branford continues to pay one-third of operating expenses to the City of Branford to receive municipal animal control services. In 2020, North Branford paid $131,000 to Branford for shelter operating expenses.

As of June 2021, the Dan Cosgrove Animal Shelter has been operating at a temporary site on Cherry Street in Branford while the expansion project is underway at the shelter’s location in Branford, 749 East Main St.