PERRY — The city’s animal shelter will remain at its current site on Ball Street, and the facility will be expanded in phases, the City Council agreed this week.
Improving the animal shelter has long been a priority of the city’s, but the issue was recently brought to the forefront with the donation of a 24-by-54-foot modular building from Houston Healthcare.
The building was moved from Warner Robins to Perry last week, and Mayor Jimmy Faircloth said the city will pay a little more than $13,000 to cover the cost of the move.
Faircloth appointed a team last year to explore options for the future of animal control, and in June the team reported to the council that the best course of action would be to build a new shelter at a new location at a projected cost of $650,000.
Taking the donated building into consideration, City Manager Lee Gilmour proposed a plan to the council that’s projected to cost about $200,000 less than the previous recommendation.
According to a plan presented to the council this week, the shelter’s current administrative offices will be relocated on site and will house cats. A new 30-run canine facility would include a quarantine room, exam room, restroom, laundry room and mechanical room, Gilmour said. The new plan is projected to cost about $450,000.
“(The council) concurred with proceeding,” Gilmour said. “They directed the administration to start the process and start putting together what needs to be done.”
The council will discuss in upcoming meetings what approach it will take when building the new dog facility, he said.
Faircloth said the new plans are “not something we’re going to put on a shelf and wait on.”
“We are upgrading a facility that was in dire need of attention,” Faircloth said. “I was tired of putting Band-Aids on a problem and, of course, everyone else was as well.”
Faircloth called the new plan “a step in the right direction.”
“I think that we can ultimately see our way clear to make the entire new facility a reality,” Faircloth said. “We’re a lot closer than we ever have been.”
To contact writer Laura Corley, call 744-4334 or follow her on Twitter @Lauraecor.