Animal shelter construction underway
Allegheny Recreation Center (ARC) partners J.P. Duncan and John Fitzgerald began construction last week on what soon will become the county's new animal shelter.
The shelter will encompass nearly 2,700 square feet in two large rooms in the back section of the former shoe factory in Marlinton. The entrepreneurs leased the building from the county last August and -ﾠ after a massive clean-up effort - set up a flea market, vendor shops, a restaurant and an entertainment center.
The partners have completed a large partition wall, a new entranceway, a floor drain, and will install a sloped concrete floor to facilitate cleaning.
Duncan, an expert concrete installer, hoped to have the new floor finished this week.ﾠ
"We have to be up and running in January," he said. "John and I are working very hard to get everything ready. It's a bit of a problem getting concrete right now, but I hope to get it poured this week. It's going to have a nice, smooth coating on it to make it easier to clean. After the floor is done we can go ahead and put in the cages."
Fenced-in runs will be added behind the building to allow dogs to exercise during the day.
The Pocahontas County Commission authorized an expenditure of $26,000 to the local Humane Society on December 17, to operate a shelter at ARC until June 30. Humane Society board member and attorney J. L. Clifton is currently drafting an agreement.
The commission authorized an additional $24,000 for equipment and improvements to the county-owned building, which includes an estimated $15,000 for the coated concrete floors and $6,000 for cages, which have been ordered and shipped.ﾠ
The ARC shelter is intended as a temporary measure. The Humane Society hopes to raise funds and have a new shelter building completed by June 2011.ﾠ
Earlier this month, Duncan and Fitzgerald submitted a proposal to the Humane Society to operate the shelter for six months at a cost of $25,620, including a shelter manager, three assistants, food, supplies, utilities and insurance.ﾠ
Duncan said he will serve as shelter manager, with assistance from Fitzgerald and the partners' wives. The Humane Society, which has its offices next to the ARC building, is expected to provide volunteers.ﾠ
County commissioner Reta Griffith told the Humane Society she would like to see financial help from the organization to help cover veterinary bills and other costs.ﾠ If the deal with the Humane Society becomes too expensive, she said, the county could put the contract out to bid, like it did when the commission hired former animal control officer Sandy Mallow.