City moving forward on shelter

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Andalusia City Council voted Tuesday night to take the first step toward relocating and upgrading its animal shelter, by authorizing the purchase of land adjacent to the Humane Society.

The property, located at 11 Williams Street, is owned by JAB Development, LLC. The purchase price is $15,000. The council’s vote is contingent upon there being no environmental issues with the property.

City Clerk John Thompson said the property is adjacent to a portion of the Humane Society’s Pearl Street property. The property being purchased by the city includes a building that is approximately 2,000 square feet.

Director of Planning Andy Wiggins said the building is in “fairly rough shape,” but has “good bones,” and there is a possibility it could be remodeled for use for less than the cost of new construction.

In February, Assistant Police Chief Paul Dean addressed the council with concerns about the existing animal shelter and concerns the APD had that the shelter would not pass state inspection. The APD is responsible for animal control.

Mayor Earl Johnson said at the time that developers looking about property adjacent to the existing shelter on Hwy. 84 would want the shelter moved.

“It’s one of those things we’ve danced around and kept pinned together with tape and barbed wire until we’re in a position to do something,” he said then. This week, he said the existing building has got to go sooner or later.

Wiggins said there also is a possibility the city can repurpose materials from a metal building it took down to build a new shelter.

Thompson also said the city, in partnership with the Humane Society, will be pursuing private funding to build the new shelter.