07/03/06 — New animal shelter plans will require donations

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New animal shelter plans will require donations

By Andrew Bell
Published in News on July 3, 2006 1:49 PM

Wayne County Manager Lee Smith said he would like to see construction for a new animal shelter begin in January, but settling on a location and finding the money to build it are holding the project back.

Smith recommended to the Board of Commissioners that the county contribute about $750,000 for a new animal shelter through loans, financing and county allocations.

The remaining $250,000 would be paid by the public, either through fundraisers or personal contributions.

"If we want to go to, as (Commissioner) J.D. (Evans) puts it, the next level, then we are going to need some outside input and contributions. We need people to think outside of the box and help us out on this one," Smith said.

If animal shelter construction does begin in January, that would give the public six months to contribute $250,000. County Commissioner Jack Best said he feels confident that a new, efficient animal shelter could be built for $750,000, but if residents want to see all of "the frills and the extras", they will have to contribute.

"I think it's reasonable to ask them for this. There is all kinds of money that's passed along in the community. There are plenty of causes. This is just one more," Best said.

He said he has already seen a large number of people who want this project completed.

"It really depends on what you're interested in. There are some people that won't give any money to the United Way, but they'll give it to this," Best said.

County Commissioner John Bell said, because of the amount the commissioners are asking for, the county would have to "take a wait and see approach" to determine the community's interest and willingness to give to help build a new animal shelter.

Although the commissioners haven't decided on a date, Bell said this is a project the county will complete.

"We are going to build it," Bell said.

Smith said county officials plan to finalize the animal shelter's location sometime this summer. The location has not been finalized because the county-owned land near Clingman Street suggested for the project would have to be rezoned by the Goldsboro City Council, and county officials are considering their options.

The county must fill out a rezoning application that comes with a $200 application fee, Goldsboro Assistant Planning Director James Rowe said.

"The entire process usually takes about two months," Rowe said.

After the planning commission meets to consider the rezoning request, its recommendation is given to the City Council. Any residents and property owners within 100 feet of the county-owned land could protest the rezoning by signing a petition, Rowe said.

If 20 percent of the property owners in the front, rear or on either side of the county-owned land oppose the rezoning, Rowe said it is considered a valid protest petition. Then, for the rezoning request to be approved, six of the seven councilmen must support the proposal.

A report made by the Animal Control Advisory Committee recommended the construction of a new animal shelter near U.S. 70 and Clingman Street, west of the Southern Market grocery store on Wayne Memorial Drive.

Dr. Stan Griffith, the committee chairman, said the land provides a central location that is easily accessible to residents.

The county's animal shelter was built in 1956 and, Smith said, has outlived its service to county residents and animals. The facility lacks modern and safe animal containment facilities, is located in a floodplain and is unable to provide proper sanitation for its workers and the animals, Dr. Griffith said.

The proposed animal shelter would be 10,000 square feet, containing 50 dog runs that could house twice as many animals in an emergency. It would also have 50 cat cages.

The proposed price of the shelter, $1.2 million, is what bothers some county officials and, Smith said, the price could fluctuate depending on factors influencing the construction business.

Smith added that many people throughout the county have already contributed to the project, but that more donations are needed to make the plan a reality.

People who are interested in contributing can send a check to Wayne County at P.O. Box 227, Goldsboro, N.C., 27533. On the subject line, specify that the donation, which is tax-deductible, is for the shelter fund.

Checks can also be sent to the local Humane Society chapter at P.O. Box 821, Goldsboro, N.C., 27533.