WR mayor gets OK to sign shelter contract

WARNER ROBINS — Mayor Donald S. Walker received approval from the city’s Redevelopment Agency, which is composed of the mayor and City Council, to sign a contract for a new, long-awaited animal shelter.

Warner Robins will hold a ground breaking at the facility’s new home at 2:30 p.m. today at 206 Stalnaker Avenue.

“Everybody’s invited. Bring your umbrella,” Walker told those in attendance at the meeting Tuesday.

In January, the Redevelopment Agency accepted a $1.1 million bid from Harbor Construction with Perry-based JMA Architecture to construct the animal control facility.

Since then, the city has worked with the architect to cut costs. The final contract calls for a price of $858,753. The city will perform the site work as well as handle any construction changes. To save money on the project, the architect also took out a medical building and opted to use an existing structure in the area to hold cats.

Initially, the project was to come from $300,000 from its gas fund, $183,000 from its general fund, $77,000 from donations and $250,000 from Houston County and the city of Centerville to house their animals. Earlier this month, the City Council allocated $90,000 from the $450,000 sale of a peak shaving plant to increase the amount of money it could use.

During Tuesday’s meeting, the City Council also voted to commit $125,000 to Robins Air Force Base to construct a $1.8 million simulator building for C-27 joint cargo aircraft. The Houston County Development Authority also pledged $125,000 to the project, while the Macon-Bibb Development Authority offered to contribute $50,000 and the state gave up $300,000. The rest will be funded by L-3 Communications Corp.

Prior to the approval, the City Council questioned why other jurisdictions in Middle Georgia were not included.

“Everybody in Middle Georgia should be at the table,” City Councilman John Havrilla said.

To contact writer Natasha Smith, call 923-3109, extension 236.