Following up on resident concerns of gas chamber use at the Animal Shelter, Shawnee City Commissioners will consider a resolution to declare two carbon monoxide euthanasia systems surplus property and whether to authorize their disposal.

Following up on resident concerns of gas chamber use at the Animal Shelter, Shawnee City Commissioners will consider a resolution to declare two carbon monoxide euthanasia systems surplus property and whether to authorize their disposal.

“The presence of the gas chamber in the shelter has created a perception that it remains in use,” Shawnee Police Department Chief Mason Wilson said.

He said the shelter has contracted with local veterinarians to care for injured animals and euthanize when no other alternatives exist.

Still, getting rid of the gas chamber comes at a price –– a trade-off of sorts.

It may stop a particular method of killing, but it does not address the original problem of what to do with rogue or troublesome animals too dangerous to handle.

One consequence is that complaints regarding those pesky skunks, opossums and other undomesticated wildlife will no longer be an Animal Welfare issue.

City Manager Justin Erickson has said, until now, the chamber was only being kept for that purpose, if needed.

Wilson has since determined the best way to solve that issue is to put it in the hands of those who are more suited to the job.

“We will only deal with the wildlife endangering public safety. We are not going to trap,” Wilson said. “We will offer a list of professionals that do. There are professional trappers who have more resources than we do. They can relocate and release.”

He said the police department will remain focused on its job.

The Animal Shelter is part of the Police Department and our focus is public safety, he said.

“If an animal is a threat to public safety we will respond,” Wilson said. “We will concentrate on vicious animals, diseased or injured animals, and removal of dead animals from the streets.”

A few of Monday's agenda items are taking active steps to boost the regional sports park project toward reality.

To achieve that goal, Commissioners may consider whether to grant a partial easement release to the State of Oklahoma Commissioners of the Land Office (CLO).

Erickson said two agenda items concern actions related to land owned or leased by the City of Shawnee and the CLO.

“Approval of these actions will facilitate the transfer of the CLO lake lot leases to private individuals and provide the City with certain assurances and a needed easement for sewer extension in another part of the City on land owned by the CLO,” he said.

The first action would clarify an easement for a portion of Shawnee Lake No. 1 that the City has from the CLO, helping to facilitate title transfer of the platted lots. The original easement is from 1935 and refers to “an easement or right-of-way for reservoir for City water-works purposes,” but does not clearly define the area or an elevation, Erickson states in the agenda memo. “The new easement refers to the FEMA Base Flood Elevation of 1077.3 feet. The dam spillway is 1075 feet, so the easement level provides some additional storage space during heavy rainfall and seasonally high water levels and is tied to a scientifically- established elevation.”

The second action, he said, would approve an exchange of property between the City and the CLO.

In exchange for deeding 0.31 acres to the CLO, the City will receive a much needed sewer easement in another part of the City that is of similar value. The location of the sewer easement is North of I-40, West of Kickapoo Street and South of Westech Road.

“This easement will allow for a sewer extension to 160 acres at the regional park site,” he said. “It will also help facilitate surrounding development.”

In another item regarding the park plan, if a majority of the board approves, the City will begin requesting Statements of Qualifications from qualified landscape architect firms for municipal park planning and design.

In other business, Mayor Richard Finley plans to proclaim Oct. 9-15, 2016, “Fire Prevention Week.”

On the Airport Authority agenda, commissioners may vote to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Shawnee Industrial Authority in order to finance the construction of a 10-unit T-hangars facility.

No items –– other than approving last meeting's minutes –– are on the Municipal Authority agenda.

The 6:30 p.m. meeting will take place on Monday in the Commission Chambers at City Hall.

You can reach Vicky O. Misa at (405) 214-3962.