As the city adjusts to a rapid increase in its human population, another growth spurt is not being ignored.

The city on Tuesday purchased a 1.5-acre tract where it will build its own shelter to serve Draper's burgeoning pet population.The city currently has its own animal control officer but is paying Conrad Kennels to house its strays.

"We have a lot of animals in Draper and we are using that facility quite heavily," Mayor Elaine Redd said. "We just feel that we can own our own for less money and probably give better service to the community."

Shelter for lost or unwanted pets has always been a need, Redd said - one that isn't likely to go away. Residential construction is increasing at an annual rate of 24 percent, and city officials fully expect those new residents to bring animals with them.

The property, near 13000 South and the I-15 frontage road, was bought for $30,000 from Wasatch Pacific Inc., developers of South Mountain.

Redd said the animal shelter, which could be completed and open for business within 18 months, shouldn't cost more than $100,000 to build.

When the facility is in place, the city will begin an animal adoption program, the mayor said.

In other business the council:

- Voted unanimously Tuesday night to hire four firefighters/ emergency medical technicians at an expected cost of about $120,000 annually. It also placed the remodeling of a Salt Lake County fire station, which is being given to the city, near the top of its priority list.

- Was told by City Manager David Campbell that business is booming. Campbell said sales tax revenues are $365,000 ahead of what was projected for the fiscal year that began July 1.