Autiello seeks Google cash for new animal shelter

Autiello seeks Google cash for new animal shelter

NORTH PROVIDENCE - Town Councilor Dino Autiello will ask local officials to come together to seek approval to use federal forfeiture funds for a new and improved animal shelter on Smithfield Road.

Autiello said he wasn't aware just how bad the condition of the North Providence Animal Control Center is until a Breeze story last week, and he now thinks something should be done to address it as soon as possible.

The council member and dog lover said he plans to get the matter on the agenda for the Aug. 5 meeting, where he hopes to get some sort of consensus on using money from the police department's 2012 settlement with Google to fund a shelter expansion and upgrades.

Autiello said he would like to see $150,000 used to expand and improve the existing shelter "for now," but still has his heart set on eventually building a regional animal drop-off center in town.

The Breeze reported last week that town officials are not optimistic about their chances of winning a grant from the Champlin Foundations to fund a new shelter. Animal control officers say the shelter is overcrowded, the walls and roof are crumbling, and the air quality is bad because of a broken ventilation system, among other issues.

Mayor Charles Lombardi said he plans to meet with Johnston Mayor Joe Polisena sometime this week about a joint project to fund a new shelter. The current shelter is used by both towns.

Spending of the $38 million left of the original $60 million Google fund is still frozen due to an ongoing conflict about who has authority over it, said Chief Paul Martellini, but he would be open to making the application to the Department of Justice if that's what town officials want to do.

Martellini agreed with Autiello that animal control falls entirely under the North Providence Police Department, making it plausible that an expenditure for a new animal shelter would be approved.

The chief said he is "not averse" to the idea of using police Google funds to "make the shelter more operable."

"It seems like a great idea and like it would be an asset for the town," he said. "It's a very good idea as long as we can get the money for it."

If the Google route doesn't work out, said Autiello, he and his fianc?©e will work with fundraising organizations to try to raise the money for a new shelter to meet the town's short-term needs. He would eventually like to see a large state-of-the-art shelter like the one in Pawtucket, perhaps located somewhere at Camp Meehan off Douglas Avenue.

Autiello, who has a rescue pit bull of his own, said he feels badly for all the dogs that remain locked in the crowded animal shelter.

The councilman said he held off on the Google funding issue for a while because the controversy over how to spend the money had grown so heated.

"I knew the whole fight was coming with the Google money," he said. "The last thing I wanted to happen was for that to be the subject of scrutiny."

For more on the services of the North Providence Animal Control Center, including pet adoption, visit www.nprovshelter.com .

Comments

Nothing against dogs but you know there will NOT be any Google money spent there, it's for police only.
Nice to think about the dogs though, to bad the taxpayer's don't get the same kind of sympathy when it comes to raising taxes in this town with your vote Councilor Dino Autiello.

Enough google money has been spent already for shining North Providence Police cruisers tires and buying unnecessary SUV's. What a joke! It's time to spend this money on more valuable things.

I can't believe no matter what subject is posted There is nothing but negativity. If more residents would have a more positive attitude and offer positive solutions. This would be a super town. I think that if it would be allowed. I think the new shelter is a great idea. I can't even believe that this is a topic for debate. The conditions at this old shelter are deplorable Great idea Especially. No burden to the taxpayer. And a new home for the animals. R u kidding me. This is a no brainer. I love animals. And would love to help u with this Dino. Even if the google money doesn't get approved. I would love to help you. With fundraising. Or whatever it takes. Being on the school committee in north providence. And owning. D.palmieries bakery in johnston. I'll do whatever I can to move this project along. This would benefit both towns so much. It's a travesty the condition of the shelter now. These animals are defenseless and need us to help them. Of course there are a million ways to spend the Money but this is a great idea. Putting politics aside. I'm willing to help. Whomever is involved. I'm offering. Both mayors lombardi. And polisena. Along with Dino. Any support I can give. Just let me know. Thank u.
Stephen palmieri. School committee district 3 north providence

Dino I'm with my dad. Anything you need. Lets just go by #s..

Google money received: 60mil
Google money left: 38mil
est. cost on shelter renovations: 150k.

So cost would be about half of 1%. Or .5% of the 38mil we have left. HOW IS THIS A BAD IDEA??? we can have 38mil and decrepid, disgusting animal shelter, or 37,850,00 and a newly renovated shelter.

The amount of negative comments for something that is a great idea is unbelievable. have any of you people ever heard of "constructive" criticism???

Exactly right! This would be money well spent for once.

The Animal Control Department comes under the police Department so I see no problem in getting approval from the Google account for the repairs and even to build a new one.

This facility definitely needs to be updated. It has needed a face lift since 1995 and the Animal Control Officers have worked under some difficult conditions. I think it is a great idea and think the funds would be allowed under police department expenditures according to Justice Department Rules. Good Luck Dino

While I'm usually the first one to say no to spending money, there is no good reason to oppose this one. The money is already there and locked up, can only be shaken loose by DOJ approving it, and no taxpayer money is being sought. The only taxpayer funded expense this can generate is legal fees to fight opposition.