Posted on

Animal control looms large

Animal control looms large
Animal control looms large
Commissioner J. R. Eckart reviews plans for the animal control center to the audience at Harrison County Court House Monday morning. At right is architect Angela M. Kleer of Michel, Timperman Ritz of New Albany. (Photo by Randy West)

As expected, the Harrison County Board of Commissioners unveiled plans Monday for an animal control center at the anticipated price of $513,000.
That’s up from the previous $479,500, because the latest proposal includes modifications recommended by shelter experts who reviewed the plan.
The commissioners stopped short of voting to accept the plan, to allow more time to review it and to explain the proposal to the Harrison County Council at its April 22 planning session. The council must make the final funding decision.
The project cost is more than $200,000 above the amount the council previously said it would allow, but the total would be about $100,000 less if the council allows the commissioners to swap the county-owned building in the industrial park in north Corydon to adjacent property owners.
The county purchased the building at auction some four years ago for a little more than $100,000, but that building is considered too large and costly to renovate. Also, the site doesn’t have clear road or sewer access. The new site offered by owner James L. Shireman would have both.
“We think this makes the whole project a lot better, and we will have the right-of-way (into the land) that’s needed,” said Terry L. Miller, chair of the commissioners.
Commissioner J.R. Eckart said the latest plans include 18 kennels that will allow animals to be kept 10 days, improving the chance for adoption rather than euthanasia. “Hopefully, the adoption side will be highly used; it will be more than just a slaughterhouse.
“Personally, I hate that notion,” Eckart said.
But the facility will not be oversized; rather, the board said statistics have shown an “overwhelming” number of animals will be processed, at least initially, and then 1,440 animals annually. “It’s not oversized by any means,” Eckart said.
“What the building will represent is not a shelter,” Eckart said. “It is a control facility. Public safety is the issue.”
He added: “It will probably serve the county 10 to 15 years without modifications.”
Commissioner James Goldman said usage estimates at first appear off-base, but, “Then you start checking with other shelters and find you are under-estimating.
Doing the research for an animal control center has been “a very enlightening experience,” Goldman said.
Goldman’s motion to take the matter under advisement until the next meeting was seconded by Eckart. The delay gives the commissioners time to review the plans submitted by Angela M. Kleer of Michell Timperman Ritz Architects in New Albany.
“We feel like we’re there, but that would give us another two weeks for the public to digest what they have heard today,” Goldman said.
A copy of the revised plan has been posted on the wall in the Commissioners’ Room for residents to preview.