MARSHALL, TX (KSLA) - A large crowd turned out Thursday night urging Marshall, Texas city commissioners to approve a new animal shelter to lower the euthanasia, or kill rate, that now stands at 80 percent.
Now, after 6 years of debates along with proposals and counter-proposals commissioners made their choice, voting 5-to-2 in favor of what's called "Scheme U" over "Scheme P."
They started with Schemes A & B years ago but made it all the way down the alphabet as the debate raged on.
"Scheme U" is a million dollar shelter that's three times bigger and twice the price of the other option.
The approved scheme will have 7,900 square feet. That extra space will help considering that their current facility averages 3,000 in-takes a year, dropping their holding time to less than 72 hours.
That translates into 2,400 animals euthanized a year in Marshall. Supporters are hoping a new shelter can drop the 'kill rate' by as much as 60 percent.
"Hopefully, yes, that's the point of this whole thing is that in order to have the change and actually not make it prettier but have it actually change we have to go with Plan U," said Marshall resident Kim Ryan as she left the commission meeting.
The next step is determining how to pay for "Scheme U" and its $1.2 million price tag.
There are two options. The first involves the use of something called certificates of obligation. They allow local Texas governments to fund projects and take on the debt, slowly paying it off, without requiring voter approval.
The second option: Hold a bond election and let the voters in Marshall make the final decision on whether to fund a new animal shelter.
If the commission chooses that route the vote would come during the November election.
If approved, construction could get underway early next year. If the bond issue fails then it's back to the drawing board yet again.