Taylor County Animal Shelter in line for new building

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Facility houses LaRue strays

By Calen McKinney

The Taylor County Animal Shelter will get a new building this year, just not where it was originally planned.

The shelter received a $150,000 Department of Agriculture grant last year for a new building on land near the current shelter. The land was donated to the county by the city of Campbellsville. However, it was announced at last week's Taylor Fiscal Court meeting that the building would not be constructed on that land.

According to Taylor County Animal Shelter Director John Harris, workers were preparing the site for the new building when they struck solid rock. He says the rock could be broken with heavy equipment, but that could be very expensive.

Campbellsville Mayor Tony Young has offered a solution to the problem, County Attorney John Bertram told magistrates last week. Bertram said Young has offered to sell another nearby parcel of land at a cost of $12,000.

He said the county would be responsible for $20,000 of the cost to install sewer service at the shelter. Any cost over $20,000, Bertram said, would be paid for by the city. Installing sewer service has been estimated at costing about $30,000.

The proposal written for the $150,000 grant estimates $15,000 to install sewer service. That means the county could have to pay the remaining $5,000.

However, Taylor County Judge/Executive Eddie Rogers told magistrates that the cost of the new shelter building could exceed its estimate, which might leave no grant money to pay for sewer installation. If that happens, the county could have to pay the entire $20,000. When added to the price of the new piece of land, the county could have to pay as much as $32,000.

Also included in the deal, Bertram said, is the city giving two Campbellsville Police vehicles that are being retired to the Taylor County Detention Center.

Magistrate Richard Phillips asked if workers could discover solid rock under the new piece of property. Rogers said that is possible, and, if that happens, he said, the project will be back at square one.

Magistrates unanimously agreed to the terms of Young's proposal.

The shelter was built in the 1980s. Shelter employees have expanded the building twice. The last was completed in January 2008 and increased the number of cages from 28 to nearly 100. Harris has said the expansions haven't been enough, however, and that the shelter needs more room.

The shelter also houses animals for Greensburg as well as Green, LaRue and Casey counties.

The $150,000 grant will be used to build an area for pets available for adoption.

Harris says the current shelter building will be used to house sick and newborn animals not ready for adoption and any animals involved in court cases.

On Thursday, Young said the City Council would have to give its OK to the sale of the property at its next meeting. He said the Campbellsville/Taylor County Water Co. would absorb the city's portion of the sewer costs.