10/23/06 — Plans in for shelter but no address yet

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Plans in for shelter but no address yet

By Andrew Bell
Published in News on October 23, 2006 1:53 PM

Although no location has been finalized, construction on a new animal shelter could begin in January, officials said.

Initial floor plans for the shelter have been completed by architect Walter Vick. Now, the blueprints are being studied by the Humane Society, and Wayne County Manager Lee Smith said he is hopeful the organization will approve the plans sometime this week.

County officials have already allowed members of the county's animal control advisory board to review the specifications for the building, Smith said. Also, experts at North Carolina State University who assist the state in creating animal shelter regulations have approved the county's plans.

Then, after all those approvals, the shelter plan will be sent to attorney Tommy Jarrett for review by the anonymous donors who have agreed to contribute $200,000 to the construction once the building plan is finalized and the location confirmed.

In addition to those stipulations, the county must allocate $750,000 toward the project. That money was included in the annual budget in June.

The commissioners have asked the public to contribute toward the remainder of the costs. A new animal shelter could cost more than $1 million, and residents have only raised about $40,000, Smith said.

In addition, the anonymous donors said they want a facility that will be easy to clean and that ensures the safety of the animals housed there. Smith said the county should be able to meet those stipulations now that N.C. State experts have approved the county's initial plans.

The donors also want the shelter built in an easily accessible location. The commissioners requested Goldsboro City Council rezone county-owned land near Eighth Street between Humphrey Street and Wayne Memorial Drive to construct the proposed 10,000-square-foot animal shelter. City Council denied that request, and the county has been looking for other locations that would be suitable to the donors.

Smith said he can't give precise details on the sites the county is exploring since officials are still in negotiations on the availability of those locations. Smith did say that some of the proposed sites are located north of Goldsboro.

Other stipulations include implementing a more humane method of euthanasia using sodium pentobarbital injections, a separate adoption room and a fenced outdoor enclosure.

The anonymous donors asked in their Sept. 19 proposal that the county respond within four weeks. Smith said he asked for a two-week extension to complete the shelter's plans before the information is presented to Jarrett's clients.

Once the plans are complete, Smith said the county can begin accepting bids.

Construction is expected to begin at the first of the year.