However, they must await approval of the Douglas County Animal Control Department’s 2014 budget, which was scheduled to be presented to the Douglas County Commission last Monday by county administrator Eric Linton.
The Animal Control Department’s budget will be among the budget requests from all other county departments presented to the commission.
At the advisory board’s meeting last Wednesday, a recommendation was approved that directed board chairwoman Pat Fulghum to compose a letter to Linton to accompany the animal control budget request.
“The letter would state that the Animal Control Advisory Board was unified in its selection of the property at the site of the old jail on Club Drive as the preferred site of the new shelter,” said Douglas County animal control director Bill Peacock. “The board had a strong dislike for placing the shelter back at the [current] landfill site.”
Peacock said the Douglas County Animal Control budget would include the cost of construction of a new shelter, which would be between $2.75 million and $3 million.
“This would represent the entire cost for all work needed for construction,” he said.
Peacock said he believes the commissioners would be receptive to the idea of having the shelter at the old jail site near downtown Douglasville due to it being more centrally located in Douglas County.
Fulghum said the advisory board’s recommendation of the old jail property represented board members “coming together in a unified voice.”
“Our commissioners have been very good in providing more money for the animal shelter and its operation, especially in approving the funding for four additional, badly-needed positions at the shelter,” she said.
“I believe that with the commission receiving our letter regarding the new shelter site and seeing we are unified in the site selection that they will support it,” Fulghum said.
In a community town hall meeting last week, Douglas County Commissioner Mike Mulcare said one of the main issues his constituents wanted him to address was the site of the animal shelter.
“Although I believe each of the three site possibilities has advantages, I would support the old jail site as the property for the new animal shelter,” Mulcare said.
Other suggested sites have included the current shelter site in northwest Douglas County and near the new county jail off Fairburn Road and I-20.
Fulghum said the need is greater now for a new animal shelter than ever before.
According to Peacock, the old shelter was built in the 1980s.
“We have simply grown out of it,” Fulghum said.
“Just about every county around Douglas has a new animal shelter and we need a shelter that is state of the art but our shelter is pretty well antiquated,” she said.
Animal Control Department employees have embarked on a program this holiday season to have more of the animals either be adopted outright or have residents support the shelter by providing necessities for the animals.