10/04/06 — Shelter searching for location after city site denied

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Shelter searching for location after city site denied

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on October 4, 2006 1:53 PM

Business owners along Wayne Memorial Drive heard the words they waited two weeks for from City Council members Monday evening -- there will be no animal shelter constructed on Eighth Street.

The council rejected a request by the Wayne County Board of Commissioners to rezone the county-owned land, between Humphrey Street and Wayne Memorial Drive, from office and institutional to general business.

The action came at the recommendation of the Planning Commission.

County Manager Lee Smith called the concerns voiced by business owners "understandable."

"We appreciate the city taking a look at it, and we certainly appreciate their concerns and the concerns of those neighbors and businesses," he said.

Smith added the decision signaled that it is time to move on, and that he is prepared to look for other possible locations for the 10,000-square-foot facility.

"I am already looking at several other locations," he said. "We're looking at county-owned land just outside Goldsboro."

Some residents said they worry that potential complaints from neighborhoods and businesses will push the shelter too far away from the population and that fewer animals will be adopted as a result.

Smith said the "two or three possibilities" currently under his watch might be outside Goldsboro, but they are still centrally located just north of the city limits.

"We do understand that we have to be customer-friendly," he said. "We want to be a good neighbor and blend in with the background if we can, while still being located in a convenient place for those people who want to adopt. If you look at your center population in Wayne County ... I think a location out there would be great for customers and clients to come in for adoption."

Smith plans to narrow down the list of locations by the commissioner's Oct. 17 meeting. He added that the locations options are very likely to be ready by that morning's meeting.

The construction plan for the shelter should move quickly, Smith said. He has a meeting scheduled today to discuss possibilities for the new facility, he added.

"I'll be meeting with the engineer to talk about the plan ... and we'll try to figure out what the optimal areas for the shelter are," he said.

If those steps are completed by their next meeting, Smith hopes to present plans for both the facility and its future location for approval by the commissioners.

"I hope to be able to ask for definitive action on a site so we can move forward with construction," he said.