Harker Heights City Council members met for a workshop Tuesday and heard updates on the Pet Adoption Center expansion, the roundabout project on Commercial Drive and the Warrior’s Path sewer main extension.

Finance Director Alberta Barrett reported that the existing Pet Adoption Center (PAC) was completed in 2010 with a total square footage of 6,527.

The design and drawings have been completed for the new facility adding 2,495 square feet and bringing the total size of 9,022 square feet, upon completion.

The expanded center will include an office, three cat rooms with catios or cat patios, a puppy porch, exam room, prep area, surgical room and recovery rooms for both cats and dogs.

The added features will allow cats to have an inside and outside open area for play and socialization as well as increase ventilation to assist in the prevention of upper respiratory infections.

City Manager Patti Brunson said, “What we want is for cats to be ready to adopt. With this new design of space they’ll be used to being outside and around other cats, touched by humans and won’t be scared because they’ve been in a box with a glass window like they are now.”

An indoor puppy room and outside puppy porch will be added and will help to prevent the puppies from being exposed to parvo and other diseases. It will also provide an area where puppies can socialize in fresh air.

A clinic will be added to perform spay/neuter procedures and other necessary surgeries that the city currently outsources. Barrett said,

“This will save money because the center outsourced about 800 spay/neuter procedures last year that cost the city between $40,000 and $50,000,” she said.

The long-range plan for the PAC is to provide outreach programs to homebound citizens, a future dog walking area in an effort to increase adoptions, and create an area and amenities for volunteers to comfortably and easily care for the animals.

Public Works Director Mark Hyde shared information about the roundabout project. The proposed construction cost for the roundabout on Commerce Drive is $483,573.

“Our progress to date is that the engineering design is complete and we have verbal agreements from all the property owners around the roundabout and received a TxDOT grant for the project,” Hyde said.

The city negotiated with Murphy USA, Wal-Mart, Bahama Bucks, Chin Dental Clinic and other property owners in the vicinity of Commerce and Heights Drive.

TxDOT has a requirement on grant projects that all the rights of way are to be official and in hand three months in advance prior to putting out the projects for bid.

Hyde said, “Since we don’t have all those right of ways in hand, they have moved the project (start date) from January to March.

Hyde said, “Seeing we have Murphy USA’s official right of way agreement and verbal agreements with the property owners, geotechnical engineering is already underway.”

Concerning the last item on the agenda, City Manager David Mitchell reminded the Council that KISD Superintendent Dr. John Craft had appeared at a recent workshop and shared about construction of a new middle school in Harker Heights on Warrior’s Path.

Mitchell said, “The opening of that school has been pushed from 2022 to 2020, so we have put our heads together to figure out how we can roll into this project. We will bring action items to you in the future concerning our plans.”

The city is in the 2017-18 fiscal year, and there is no budget now for the sewer project along Warrior’s Path that will be required. “We do need to get started on it, ”Mitchell said.

During this current fiscal year, the city will use utility fund reserves to complete the engineering, surveying and right-of-way acquisition for the wastewater line that will service the middle school site on Warrior’s Path and areas within Comanche Hills. The cost of this project will total an estimated $250,000.

In fiscal year 2018-19, the let and construct the wastewater project at a cost of $479,000 and begin the engineering and surveying of the Warrior’s Path Road Project at a cost of $1.1 million.

Fiscal Year 2019-20 will begin the acquisition of the right-of way for the Warrior’s Path Road Project, seeking Killeen Temple Metropolitan Planning Organization funds, a 20 percent match shared by Harker Heights, Nolanville, Bell County and Killeen ISD.

The middle school will open in August of 2020.

The Warrior’s Path Road Project will begin in fiscal year 2020-21.

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