NORTH PROVIDENCE – Mayor Charles Lombardi said the town was planning to hold one final meeting with architect Tom Lonardo on plans for the new North Providence Animal Shelter on Tuesday of this week, Jan. 4, and will likely then put construction out to bid.
The latest plans for the tri-community shelter to be shared with Smithfield and Johnston show it costing “a few more dollars” at probably $1.5 million, said the mayor, which he said is a little bit disappointing but necessary.
The mayor previously said on multiple occasions that he thought the shared shelter, which will have financial contributions from both Smithfield and Johnston, could be built for less than $1 million. A portion of the money will also come out of the North Providence Police Department’s remaining money from a $60 million settlement with Google in 2012.
The project for a new shelter to replace the old one on Smithfield Road has faced repeated delays, including officials ordering a do-over in the spring in seeking qualified architects after neither of the two finalists were deemed acceptable.
The years-long process of getting a new shelter off the ground inspired the creation of the North Providence Animal Welfare Society over the summer, a group advocating for both a new shelter and for the overall welfare of local animals.
Demolition of the old shelter was completed over the summer, and officials are planning to put the new state-of-the-art shelter on a larger footprint covering what was previously there.