Work toward new, smaller animal shelter continues

A new county-wide animal shelter is still on the drawing board, but it will be smaller than what was proposed during the winter.

Jefferson city council member Dave Sloan, chair of the animal shelter committee, updated the council at its Tuesday meeting.

According to Sloan, a state inspector visited the shelter last week with only 10 minutes notice. The inspector found “a lot of stuff we need to fix,” Sloan said.

The committee is working with Don Orris to pare down the plan he proposed earlier. Fewer cages and a white rock rather than concrete in the parking lot are two changes Sloan mentioned. The original building was tagged at $1.2 million. Orris had offered to spearhead fundraising for the building.

The shelter will be north of the St Joseph Cemetery on property provided by Greene County Development Corporation, as proposed earlier.

The committee is also working on developing an operating budget leaner than the $161,500 annually Orris proposed. That budget included a fulltime animal control officer with a dedicated vehicle, and paid staff at the shelter. He included no revenue, wanting to show a worst case scenario.

The new budget will not include an animal control officer and the shelter will be operated by P.A.W.S., with that volunteer group receiving a small stipend to cover expenses. It will also show anticipated revenue coming from adoption fees and shelter costs paid by pet owners. “We want to see an expected case, not a worst case scenario budget,” council member Harry Ahrenholtz said.

Sloan said committee members had explored the possibility of contracting with the Boone County shelter rather than building a new shelter here. That does not look like a possibility, he said.

The next animal shelter committee meeting is June 5.

Council member Dan Benitz has been skeptical of the project since he joined the council in November. He was not at the Tuesday council meeting.


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