Converse shelter says construction costing them donations, adoptions

Construction to expand Rocket Lane has been ongoing since 2022

CONVERSE – Crews in Converse have been working to expand a major road, but one nonprofit said it’s coming at a cost.

The city is working to expand Rocket Lane near Judson High School.

Right along the construction route is the Converse Animal Shelter -- a nonprofit, no-kill shelter.

It relies on donations and grants to operate.

Lezlie Grimes, president of the shelter, said the organization helps Converse Animal Services.

“We like to pull from them to help their cause to help them become no-kill as well,” she said.

But Grimes said with the construction, the city has not returned the help.

“I don’t think they know how much this has impacted us,” she said. “We’ve had a drop in donations, in adoptions. It’s really hard for people to get out here.”

With concrete barricades and mud in front of the shelter’s entrance, Grimes said it has been tough for people to drop off donations.

“We’ve had one donor actually fall and break their leg and had to have surgery due to this construction,” said Grimes.

Once the work is done, Grimes said the shelter’s current entrance, which faces the street, will have to be moved.

Demolition of the current entrance is expected to cost around $11,000, Grimes said, but that can’t be done until construction is complete.

“I’ve tried contacting the city manager several times,’ said Grimes. “I know our volunteers have as well.”

Converse Assistant City Manager Howard Koontz said he has heard about the conflicts the shelter has had with the construction.

“It’s frustrating for everybody,” he said. “Never been a part of a capital project like this in my nearly 20 years of working in local government.”

Koontz said weather has delayed the project, and he admits it’ll still be a while until it’s finished.

“We’re thinking best-case scenario is probably going to be late spring,” he said.

Grimes said the shelter just wants to be heard.

“We kind of feel like we are being forgotten about and tossed aside,” she said.

About the Authors

Daniela Ibarra joined the KSAT News team in July 2023. This isn’t her first time in the KSAT newsroom– the San Antonio native spent the summer of 2017 as an intern. Daniela is a proud Mean Green alum, earning her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of North Texas.

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