County Commission Votes To Give Humane Educational Society $10 Million For New Shelter

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

The County Commission on Wednesday morning voted to give the Humane Educational Society (HES) $10 million for a new animal shelter.

Commissioner Chip Baker said he had considered asking for a delay for talks on possible merging of services with the city's McKamey Animal Center.  However, he said he was advised that the HES could lose out on a potential donor if the vote was delayed.

The total project is $13 million with HES raising $3 million. 

Commissioner Tim Boyd passed, saying there were too many unanswered questions about the resolution.  HES earlier bought property for the new center off South Access Road.

Commissioners agreed that the current facility on Highland Park Avenue "should have been torn down years ago."

County Mayor Jim Coppinger said it had "always been extremely difficult" to try to bring together HES and McKamey, noting that "both answer to different boards."

He said, "I am very, very grateful that we found a solution."

He said earlier that the county had available $14 million since a property tax increase was approved one year and a major capital bond issue was not approved until the next year.

Commissioner Baker said he had talked with the director of McKamey, who said the agency has 10 acres as an area for possible expansion.

An overflow crowd of HES supporters wearing red shirts were at the commission meeting.


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