The Deer Lick Park site was chosen by Worthan and agreed to by the district commissioners after an exhaustive search and evaluation of possible locations throughout the County by staff, the release stated.
The 27-acre site currently contains the dog park, skateboard park, miniature golf course, and batting cages on the front part of the property. The shelter site is behind (west) of the current facilities.
According to the release, the site was selected for the following advantages:
-relatively central geographic location in the County;
-close to the population center of the County;
-only 1,500 feet from a major four-lane highway where signage could be installed;
-only 1,500 feet from an available sewer line;
-well-known location - Deer Lick Park is the oldest and most active park in the County system;
-available existing driveway entrance and parking lot representing construction cost savings;
-sufficient room for future growth if needed;
-sufficient room for outdoor exercise areas for shelter pets;
-back entrance for employee/service vehicles available from tennis court driveway;
-dog park already at the location - may be slightly relocated/incorporated into new shelter design;
-sufficient room to host animal-related events adjacent to the shelter;
-satisfies stated desires for a more visible location;
-satisfies stated desires for a more central location; and
-satisfies stated desires to not use the old jail property or keep the shelter adjacent to the landfill.
The selection of the site now allows for the advertisement for professional architectural services by the County to plan and design the shelter.
The Board of Commissioners has visited numerous animal shelters in other locations over the past two years, and reviewed photos and documents of many more, and like the general layout of the current Forsyth County shelter in Cumming. The Forsyth County shelter is approximately 24,000 square feet.
The 2014 General Fund budget adopted Tuesday by the Board of Commissioners includes $250,000 for the planning, site investigation and architectural design of the new shelter. Any estimate of construction and project costs will be premature until the facility is designed.
Worthan stated that he “greatly appreciates the opinions and discussions of the Douglas County Animal Control Advisory Board and the general public on this issue, and the interest shown.”
He said the Advisory Board for the being out front on this issue and for their voluntary service. The Animal Control Advisory Board will be involved throughout the planning of the new shelter.