The Larimer Humane Society believes it has outgrown its 38-year-old shelter in Fort Collins and hopes taxpayers approve the funds for a new one.
Starting Saturday, volunteers will begin collecting signatures to place a sales tax increase - a penny on every $10 - on the November ballot .They hope to collect 25,000 signatures, more than double the number needed. Signatures must be verified by July 18 to qualify for the ballot.
The sales tax would last six years and could be sunset earlier if funds come in at a higher than expected rate, said Stephanie Ashley, marketing and community outreach maager.
Asked what is driving the tax effort, Ashley provided a long list of reasons. Among them:
* Because the current building is failing, disease control falls below best practices.
* Kennels are too small and don’t allow for animals to have the healthiest environment possible, both mentally and physically.
* In busier months, overcrowding forces the shelter to place small animals in carriers rather than kennels.
* There are maintenance problems. The foundation has shifted, causing the walls, ceiling and floor to separate. Many staff members work in extreme heat and cold during the harsher months.
* There are nearly 1,000 incoming phone calls to the shelter every day, up 40 percent in just five years. Fort Collins is consistently ranked as one of the best places to live in the U.S. and the population is growing rapidly.
"Our physical facility simply does not and cannot meet the current or future needs of our community," Ashley said.
Saturday's kickoff for volunteers will be at 10 a.m. at the Larimer Humane Society administrative offices, 5137 S. College Avenue, Fort Collins. Any volunteers interested in collecting signatures can contact email@example.com to learn more.
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