02/22/07 — Proposed shelter site won't work

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Proposed shelter site won't work

By Andrew Bell
Published in News on February 22, 2007 1:52 PM

Wayne County officials are looking for another home for a new animal shelter after engineers' reports concluded the soil at the proposed site near the Goldsboro-Wayne Municipal Airport cannot support the facility.

County officials, contractor Walter Vick and other architects with LSV Partnership Architects had already completed building plans and most of the specifications when engineering work discovered the faulty soil.

So only a month after County Manager Lee Smith announced the location of the new animal shelter, county officials are returning to the drawing board.

After a discussion with the county commissioners, Smith said the county is looking at county-owned land off Clingman Street to be the new home for the estimated $1.5 million project.

But the last time the county tried to put a new animal shelter inside the city limits, Goldsboro City Council voted against the measure.

Last September, city council considered a rezoning request by county officials to allow county-owned land on the north side of Eighth Street between Humphrey Street and Wayne Memorial Drive to permit the construction of the shelter.

Several property owners spoke against the rezoning request saying that an animal shelter so close to other Wayne Memorial Drive businesses would be a "detriment to future development." Others complained that an animal shelter's noises and smells would deter people from nearby businesses.

Smith said he is confident the same situation won't play out again. Of the 30 acres Wayne County owns near Clingman Street, only 4.5 acres would be used for a new shelter. The only other building in sight of the proposed location is the city of Goldsboro's city garage, he added.

Smith has asked Goldsboro City Manager Joe Huffman and city councilmen to join him at the Clingman Street site sometime in the next week to survey the land and evaluate the building plans before the issue is brought before the council.

"I think we have a very serviceable site," Smith said.

The Clingman Street location can serve as a central location that is easily accessible for residents, which is one of the requirements that must be met before the county receives $200,000 from two anonymous donors.

The donors announced last fall they would make the donation if certain criteria were met, including improving the adoption rate. The newly hired animal shelter director, Justin Scally, told commissioners Tuesday morning that animal control will start a weekly program next week that highlights some of the adoptable animals at the existing shelter on Brick Street.

That facility is 50 years old and only 1,150 square feet, which has prompted animal rights activists to plead for a new animal shelter. Many residents have joined in the cause and contributed about $50,000 toward a new shelter.

Smith said he has authorized Buildings and Grounds Superintendent Brant Brown to begin looking at a possible rezoning request for the site.

If all goes well with the city, Smith said he hopes to present the bid documents to and receive plan approval from the county commissioners at the board's March 20 meeting.

If any residents or business owners are concerned about the proposed location or facility, Smith said those people can view the site plans in the county manager's office on the fourth floor of the county courthouse. For any other questions or concerns, call the Wayne County manger's office at 731-1435.Animal shelter