LOOKING BACK AT 2013 (Part 4): New buses and a new shelter

Propane buses

The school buses traveling around town may look the same as in the past, but they are different.

The city spent almost $5.5 million to purchase 60 buses that use propane instead of diesel fuel. The buses arrived in time for the start of school in the fall.

Outside companies usually provide the buses, but Shelton decided to try a different approach. An outside firm still oversees bus service.

The city has built a fueling station for the buses on Riverdale Avenue.

How good of a deal the buses were will be determined over time, and may primarily depend on their long-term reliability.

There’s no doubt that propane costs much less than diesel and is better for the environment. However, the cost of paying for an outside service to run the buses was more than anticipated.

Animal shelter

Construction on the new $1.4 million animal shelter on Riverdale Avenue began in August. The residential-type design is intended to blend in with nearby homes.

The 6,000-square-foot shelter should open next March and be able to house 30 dogs and 20 cats.

It has been designed to provide “a safe and secure environment” for stray animals, and promote pet adoption and education.

The start of construction completed a seven-year process to find a location, design a building, and secure the needed funds.

The new facility will replace an outdated shelter nearby, which is 1,500 square feet in size.