01/26/05 — Wayne's new shelter may cost 1.2 million dollars

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Wayne's new shelter may cost 1.2 million dollars

By Matt Shaw
Published in News on January 26, 2005 2:13 PM

Wayne County may spend as much as $1.2 million on a new animal shelter, which would be built to last, officials say.

The animal control advisory committee asked the county commissioners Tuesday to build a 10,000-square-foot shelter on Clingman Street in Goldsboro.

If the commissioners agree, an architect would be hired this spring and construction could begin later this year. A decision is expected next month.

The new shelter would be more than eight times the size of the building it would replace. It would include more, larger areas for dogs and a separate room for cats.

It would be designed to be better ventilated and more hygienic than the current shelter, which is insect- and rodent-infested. Staff could isolate sick or possibly rabid animals.

The new shelter would also allow safer handling of stray and abandoned animals.

"This would not be an elaborate building. This is a basic-needs building," said committee member George Wolfe. "It would serve Wayne County for the next 50 years because it's expandable."

The current shelter on Brick Street, which opened in 1956, was fine for decades, but it is now deficient in several ways, local veterinarian Dr. Stan Griffith told the commissioners.

The 1,150-square-foot building has only 13 dog runs and a limited cat area, but handles more than 7,000 animals a year, Griffith said.

The shelter's land is in the floodplain, and the shelter was damaged after hurricanes in 1996 and 1999.

And its location is detrimental to people who might want to adopt an animal. Access is often blocked by trains, Griffith said, and the building's dankness discourages people from wanting to visit.

The animal control advisory committee visited several shelters and talked to officials in many other counties, Wolfe said. Most counties have either built a new shelter in the last 15 years or are in the planning stages now.

The construction is proposed for a 38-acre tract of land that the county owns on Clingman Street, near the old Wayne Community College campus and the city of Goldsboro's garage. About three acres would be needed for the building and buffering.

That site has several advantages, the committee said. It's centrally located in the county and has access to water, sewer and other utilities. The nearby garage has traffic at all times, which would increase security.

The shelter would be enclosed to keep noise and odor from being a problem for nearby properties. The building would be well ventilated.

The county commissioners have met three times this month to hear from various county departments and their needs. Tuesday's meeting was held at the Goldsboro Country Club.

Nearly all the commissioners have attended all three sessions. Chairman J.D. Evans missed Tuesday's meeting, due to illness.

The board is scheduled to meet at least one more time -- Thursday, Feb. 3, beginning at 7:30 a.m. at the Hampton Inn. Afterward, the board will begin choosing its priorities for the next several years.

The board will not meet next Tuesday, as originally scheduled.