Council to consider selling land to shelter

SALEM -- City council will consider a proposal to sell a piece of city property for use as an animal shelter.
The matter was discussed Thursday by council's economic development committee, which referred the issue to the rules and ordinances committee.
Being proposed is that the city sell a 3.6-acre lot to the Salem Area Humane Society, which operates an animal shelter along U.S. Route 62 in Perry Township, west of Salem.
Shelter neighbors have repeatedly complained about noise made by barking dogs at the facility.
That prompted Mary Lou Popa, humane society president, to approach the city about selling land to the group on which it could build a shelter.
Besides her duties with the society, Popa also is a 1st Ward city councilwoman.
No homes nearby: The city lot in question is located along Pennsylvania Avenue near Allen Road. It's also adjacent to the city's sewage treatment plant.
No homes are near the city-owned site, which is zoned for industrial purposes.
For the city to sell the land to the shelter, council would have to authorize the action, and competitive bidding would be needed, Joe Julian, city service director, said today. He was relating advice given to city officials by law Director C. Brooke Zellers.
Competitive bidding means that the city could be forced to sell the land to whoever offers the highest and best bid, not necessarily the humane society.

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