‘We need help’: Converse Animal Shelter says street construction causes flooding

Construction to expand Rocket Lane began in 2022

CONVERSE, Texas – A no-kill shelter in Converse believes construction on a city road is putting the facility and animals at risk.

Crews have been working to expand Rocket Lane near Judson High School for nearly two years.

The Converse Animal Shelter is right across the street, and employees say the construction has made caring for the animals hard.

“I think it’s been a hassle,” said Christian Collazo, a kennel technician.

Since November 2023, the shelter has raised concerns about the consequences of the city project, which include a hit on donations and adoptions.

The shelter’s president said they’re raising money to build a new entrance because of the construction.

Howard Koontz, Converse’s then-assistant city manager, told KSAT he expected the project to be finished by late spring.

Eight months later, the headache continues.

A quick burst of rain last week dredged up a new issue -- flooding.

Collazo said volunteers, staff, and donors had to wade through inches of water to get into the shelter.

“I think it’s ridiculous,” he said. ”I mean, I don’t think that’s something we should have to deal with when the expansion of the road doesn’t benefit us. It’s for the school and the traffic.”

Collazo said the shelter wants to know what they’ll have to fix themselves and what the city is going to contribute.

“Are they going to do anything to help us to prevent the flooding?” asked Collazo.

“Have you been able to get any answers from the city?” asked reporter Daniela Ibarra.

“No, not really,” answered Collazo.

KSAT hasn’t been able to get answers from the city either.

On Sunday afternoon, KSAT called Mayor Al Suarez and left a voicemail. We also texted him twice—both were read by Suarez, but he has not replied.

KSAT asked Collazo what he’d say to the city.

“That we need help,” he 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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