HWR introduces Animal Shelter to Budget and Finance | Local News

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The Coffee County Health, Welfare, and Recreation Committee went to the Budget and Finance Committee to request funding for an animal shelter.

“We don’t want to build enough shelter for one or two years,” HWR President Ashley Kraft said. “We want to build it big enough that it can grow with the county because we know it’s going to grow in 15 to 20 years.”

It has requested $500,000 ARP for the submission and design phase, then will launch an aggressive donation campaign.

“The need is there. We’ve approved a site, and we have huge public interest, so we’re sure we can apply for funds,” Commissioner Margaret Cunningham said.

Donations are expected to cover $200,000 to $300,000 of the cost of a new shelter.

Kraft requested that the HRA’s request be submitted before the June 14 commission meeting to allow all current commissioners to vote on the matter.

Funding could include named bricks and other fundraisers, capital project funds, and rural infrastructure funds to contribute to the project.

Animal Control Craig Boyd believes a 40-race kennel is needed.

The current cost is estimated at $240 per square foot for a 4,200 to 4,500 square foot shelter and 40 enclosures. This project would cost approximately $1,080,000 to include kennels and full construction.

Commissioner Dennis Hunt has suggested surplus properties in the county, including the recently liberated Manchester Health Department and the Arrowhead to Aerospace Museum, could be sold and offset the cost of new shelter.

He proposed that by using proceeds from taxpayer-owned properties to build a taxpayer-funded facility, it would free up ARP funds that he believed would serve a greater portion of Coffee County’s population.

He suggested the health department be at the center of the county’s construction projects.

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