County Unclear On Hi Tor Shelter Replacement

Although the multi-town initiative to replace the dilapidated Hi-Tor animal shelter in Pomona was scrapped, the 50-year-old shelter demands that the $475,000 raised toward the project be reimbursed. However, it is unclear whether that money will be reabsorbed into Rockland County’s coffers as Rockland Green’s Chairman Howard Phillips and his coalition of town supervisors have been transparent about their lack of faith in the shelter’s management.

When the estimated price of the Rebuild Hi-Tor project shot from $8,3 million to $18 million, according to the Rockland Business Journal, Rockland County Legislators failed to ap-
prove its funding.Meanwhile, the nonprofi t needs to maintain its baseline opera-
tions, paying for employees, utilities, medical care and animal food. However, the county did confi rm last month that it would continue funding the shelter at an annual rate of $331.532. Taxypayers have already shelled out $500,000 for architectural designs for a Hi-Tor rebuild.    However, the towns of Rockland County have collectively said that they don’t plan on renewing the five-year-long inter-
municipal agreement that has allowed the shelter to take on its stray dogs (donations, not tax payer money, covers the care of stray cats) after this year.

It is unclear what will take its place, although County Executive Ed Day said there will be ‘something worked out” to make sure the animals are cared for.
They still intend to build a new shelter, and are scouting new locations like Ramapo’s Torne Valley and a town-owned building in Haverstraw, but it is unclear how the five-town coalition intends to finance the project.

Two years ago, Orangetown Supervisor Teresa Kenny broke its contract with Hi-Tor, contracting with the Human Society of Hudson to take on its stray dogs. The town does not have an ar-
arrangement for cats.  At least one fed-up Hi-Tor board member suggested that the facility hand off its keys and operations to Phillips and the other
supervisors on December 31. Phillips has stated that, should this happen, the Hudson Valley Human Society will step up to main- tain the old shelter’s operations.

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