New president wants to see movement on SPCA’s new home project

Gary Kean
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Donna Luther

CORNER BROOK  When Donna Luther finished up her term on city council last fall, she felt the City of Corner Brook was close to granting an occupancy permit to the NL West SPCA so it could move into its new home.

At the time, Luther was also the SPCA’s vice-president.

This week, she became the animal protection group’s interim president after Judy Mahoney stepped away from the role for personal reasons.

The SPCA is still not moved into its new facility in the Wild Cove area of Corner Brook. Luther hopes to help move things along so the SPCA can finally get out of its current home on Connors Road in the Curling area of the city.

The stumbling block is still getting an occupancy permit from the city. When Luther was finishing up her term on council, the main obstacle to getting the permit was installing a fire suppression system.

The sprinklers and piping are now in the ceiling and the fire suppression system will be complete with the installation of a new pump, for which the organization is in the process of raising money.

But Luther said the city has also asked the SPCA to provide engineered architectural drawings of the building. Luther said such drawings would be costly to produce and wonders why the original blueprints for the building aren’t good enough.

“From what I understand, it’s going to cost between $35,000 and $40,000 to get these drawings done if we need to have them done,” she said.

“That will set us behind quite a bit. That’s a lot of tickets sales and whatever to raise that kind of money.”

The SPCA hopes this issue can be resolved soon because its current home is woefully inadequate. Luther said she could understand the need for engineered drawings if the SPCA was planning to build some sort of extension on the new facility, but such construction is not part of the project.

“I believe we can come to some resolution at the end of the day, but it just takes so long,” she said.

Luther will be meeting with the City of Corner Brook next week to discuss the project.

She has asked the city for a complete list of what is expected of the SPCA in order to get the occupancy permit.

Coun. Keith Cormier is the city’s lead on the file.

“We have had three or four meetings since October with (city) staff and the SPCA and we are trying to get them into that building as quickly as we can,” said Cormier.

Still, he said the SPCA knew what it was getting into when it purchased the building. That included the fact a fire suppression system was necessary in light of the building’s location on the outskirts of the city and the longer response time for the Corner Brook Fire Department in the event of an emergency.

Cormier wasn’t sure where the dollar amounts for engineered drawings came from. He wanted to wait until after next week’s meeting to comment further on what the city requires of the SPCA specifically.

Luther said the SPCA feels its new building is safe enough to be a more comfortable and welcoming space for the SPCA’s animals and volunteers and for the general public to visit. She said it’s frustrating the building cannot be used yet.

“If these drawings are not something that’s critical, I don’t know why some allowances can’t be made so that the original blueprints can suffice,” she said.

The SPCA has a company looking for the pump it needs for the fire suppression system and could not say when it or the water tank will be installed.

Twitter: WS_GaryKean

Organizations: Corner Brook Fire Department

Geographic location: CORNER BROOK, Wild Cove, Connors Road Curling

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Recent comments

  • Donna
    January 31, 2014 - 09:50

    I have no issue with regulations that are necessary for safety. My issue is with things being asked for at such a late date that were not asked for initially. Please don't misread my statements as looking to side step safety regulations, I would not consider doing something to put our animals and anyone else in the building at risk. This is not political it's about getting the animals a good home, my fight for this has NOT changed.

    • Barbara
      January 31, 2014 - 15:16

      I think we need a dog park here in the city. I am sure there has to be a little land out on the ring road that could be fenced in. That's all it would take really. Too much to ask for????

  • brad gough
    brad gough
    January 31, 2014 - 05:13

    Wow!I understand the need for fire suppression ,but MEGA RED TAPE AS USUAL.How much longer must it go on?

  • Shoe on other foot is uncomfortable
    January 30, 2014 - 20:05

    Only a few months ago, when DEFENDING the City's red tape Luther tweeted "Building in St.john's collapsed. That is why you need building regulations that people call red tape. Man sent to hospital." Now she is complaining about the City's red tape? So red tape was good when she was the one creating it but no good now that shes tangled in it?