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Animal shelter: a call for bids

The New Albany architect Angie Kleer got the go-ahead late Monday from the Harrison County Board of Commissioners to prepare bid specifications for an animal control facility.
The bids will take into account two building sites that are being considered, the one initially proposed off Quarry Road in north Corydon and another now being considered behind the Harrison County Justice Center, off Commissioners Way between the Justice Center and Corydon-Ramsey Road.
The unexpected action was taken after a break for lunch, when only a few people remained in the commissioners’ room to hear the discussion. The posted agenda for the session did not include Kleer and/or animal control.
The costs of preparing the site is expected to be greater off Quarry Road, where the necessary infrastructure ‘ such as a sewer lift station and access road ‘ must be provided, so to get an idea of the cost at either location, the architect was told to include alternate bids for either site in the bid specifications.
The site behind the justice center might meet with opposition. Bob McKim, who owns the 1345 Building on the west side of Corydon-Ramsey Road, would oppose the construction of an animal control facility behind the justice cener, practically in his front yard.
‘I’m stocking up on ammunition,’ he said yesterday.
Councilman Carl Duley, who also owns a trucking business next door to the 1345 Building, said, ‘I don’t think (the animal control facility) should be behind the jail. As far as the business, it’s not a good place to put it. There’s nothing wrong with the industrial park site, in my opinion.’
Kleer, of Michell Timperman Ritz, had no estimate on when the bidding could take place.
She appeared off guard but pleased to be able to proceed to the next phase of the project.
‘I really didn’t expect you to do this today,’ she said.
‘We need to get this done before the snow does fly,’ said Commissioner Jim Heitkemper, a tongue-in-cheek reference to the prediction not long ago by Harrison County Councilman Carl Duley. At that time, the council had approved $300,000 to construct the facility, and Harrison County Community Foundation chair J. Gordon Pendleton said the Foundation would take care of any costs over and above the $300,000. However, there has been no public discussion concerning that offer.
Monday afternoon, commission chair J.R. Eckart asked, ‘Can we go to bid with $300,000?’
Goldman said, ‘People go to bid all the time not knowing whether the bids are going to be over or under. I don’t see that as an issue.’
Eckart had to leave before the meeting concluded but earlier he promoted the site behind the Justice Center as less expensive than the other because there would be no need for an access road, no sewage treatment lift station or costs incurred to bring utilities to the site. ‘It’s probably not a huge savings, but it would be some,’ he said.
Eckart said earlier that the facility would be more visible by the Justice Center and therefore animals would have a better chance of finding a home.
Before he left the room, Eckart told his two cohorts: ‘You fellows know what to do. Do what is right.’
After more discussion, Heitkemper’s motion to proceed was seconded by James Goldman, despite some reservations.
He explained earlier that the three commissioners aren’t on ‘the same page’ regarding the second location, behind the Justice Center.
‘The point is, it’s within a rock’s throw of a residence’ and a church next door, Goldman said. ‘I’m not totally against it, but I do have some reservations.’
Part of the proposed facility had included windows in the kennel room that could be opened to fresh air, but that wouldn’t be possible at the second location because of the barking, Goldman said.
It was his suggestion that site preparation be handled as an alternate.
Kleer estimated that bids would be let before the end of the year. If that doesn’t happen and a contract isn’t awarded for construction, the $300,000 appropriation would expire.
Goldman still has concerns about the operating costs of the facility, and lamented that the proposal for a $3 million endowment with the Foundation, from which earnings could have been used to operate the facility.
Heitkemper suggested that Goldman ‘revisit’ the proposal.