MERIDEN — The Meriden Humane Society is hoping to begin work this year on a project to install a drainage system to stop flooding in the shelter’s outside kennels.
Humane society board member Jeff Parkhurst said local engineering firm BL Companies is scheduled to perform a site survey and environmental testing this year, after which the no-kill shelter will put together plans for the improvements.
The outside kennel area of the shelter, located at 311 Murdock Ave., often floods due to inadequate drainage.
“The outside kennels fill with inches and inches of water when it rains or when the snow melts,” Parkhurst said. “We can’t bring the dogs out there until it all clears, which sometimes can take days or weeks.... in the spring and the fall when we get a lot of rain it just becomes a huge mud hole back there.”
During the winter, the flooding poses a safety hazard because the kennel area turns into an “ice skating rink,” Parkhurst said.
Last year, over 20 volunteers dug trenches to channel flood water away from the shelter after rainstorms.
“We can’t keep digging these trenches every time it rains,” volunteer Danielle Poulin said.
Parkhurst said the cost of the work will depend on the results of the site survey.
“Hopefully as soon as they're done, we’re going to put plans in place for what we can realistically do,” he said.
Parkhurst said he would like to see a concrete slab laid down on the outside kennel area, which would alleviate flooding and make it easier to clean. The fencing for the outside kennels also needs to be replaced, he said.
The non-profit has been raising money for the work for more than a year. Parkhurst couldn’t say how much has been raised to date.
The city, which leases the space to the humane society, intends to pay for the site survey. City Manager Tim Coon said the city will work with the non-profit to determine what portion of the renovations the city will pay for. Parkhurst said the humane society feels a responsibility as the tenant to pay for the upgrades.
The humane society is currently accepting donations for the drainage improvement project. Anyone interested can donate through the shelter’s website, by check or in person, Parkhurst said. Eversource Energy recently donated $300, the company said in a press release.
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