Plans for the Chesterfield County Animal Shelter are going back to the drawing board once again.
Last year, the county council purchased property at the corner of S.C. 9 and Hillian-Edwards Road for $125,000 with the intention of renovating the two existing buildings into a proper animal shelter. Residents in the surrounding neighborhood complained about potential noise and other problems that would arise with the placement of a shelter in their backyard, and council members listened.
The council decided several months ago to build a new shelter across the road from where the current shelter stands on Goodale Road in Chesterfield, and bids for construction were submitted June 30.
At last week’s meeting, July 9, a motion to accept a bid for the job from John F. Stroud & Son of Chesterfield in the amount of $325,485 was made by Chesterfield County Council Finance Chairman Crawford Moore.
However, after much discussion, Moore tabled the motion.
Council members Douglas Curtis, Al Johnson and Eddie Rivers expressed concerns about proper ventilation and drainage for the structure.
“We need to make sure these provisions are covered in the contract,” said Curtis.
Jerry Gaskins, a representative of Paws and Claws, had spoken to council members during the public comment session of the meeting. She had the same reservations about the facility’s current design.
Having come so far from the dark days of shame and national coverage surrounding the shooting of 22 dogs at the county’s shelter several years ago, council members agreed it would be best to “make sure” they construct an ideal facility.
Jim McGonigal, director of Chesterfield County Animal Services, told the council that efforts are under way to create a voucher program to help low-income families and senior citizens with the cost of spaying or neutering their pets.
“The specifics for those guidelines, and the opportunity to apply for those vouchers, will be available next week, ” McGonigal said.
The voucher program will be handled through the Chesterfield County Council Office located upstairs at the Chesterfield County Courthouse. Michelle Stanley will be the contact person.
The approximate cost to eligible residents for this service will be $20.
McGonigal said a Buy a Brick fundraising campaign is also in the works to “help off-set the cost for the new shelter, and help with operating expenses.”
— Reach Staff Writer Karen Kissiah at 843-537-5261.