Board Discuss Possible Locations for the New Animal Shelter

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LUMPKIN COUNTY, Ga.- Director of Special Projects Ashley Peck presented the board with three options for possible locations for the new animal shelter the county is building.

The board also followed up on the inmate medical contract that they talked about last month. Director of Development Authority Rebeccas Mincey brought the board an update on the broadband infrastructure grant project.

Peck along with other members of staff have found three county-owned properties that were presented to the board for the new shelter. There are two locations in Blackburn Park and one location near the transfer station that is up for consideration. The estimated cost for building the shelter is $1,202,000.00.

The first Blackburn location.

The first option in Blackburn park offers both room for expansion in the future and room to house large animals for a short time. There would be easier construction in this area which also means a shorter time for the project. It is the cheapest option and is 541 feet away from the closest neighbor.

The second option in Blackburn is the current site of the County’s Vegetative Debris Management Area. If chosen the county will have to move the site to another location and that will have to be approved by FEMA. This also offers the same room for expansion and housing for large animals.

The second Blackburn location.

The closest house to the site is 1,353 feet away, however it is also located behind Blackburn Elementary. In order to access the site, there is a need to build a new road and that will cost $323,775 of TSPLOST money.

There is also an additional $13,000 that would be needed for utilities. Making the total cost of this project  $1,538,775.00 if this is the location selected.

Finally, the option by the transfer station is a more difficult site to build and there is little room for expansion if needed in the future. There would also be the need to build a 650ft road on the site. It will cost $254,154 to build.

The transfer site location.

There is an additional cost for screening, security fencing, utility, and water and sewer. All of that would bring the cost of the project up to $1,537,866.00. There are also downsides to this location’s proximity to both a firing range and the transfer station.

Residents of the neighborhoods surrounding Blackburn park expressed their concerns again to the board after the meeting. If the board decides none of these locations are what they are looking for there are other options the county can pursue. The board will make a decision at their regular meeting on Mar. 15 at 6:00 p.m. To view the agenda before the meeting visit http://lumpkincountyga.iqm2.com/Citizens/Default.aspx.

“I’ve taken notes on what everybody said and we certainly take those seriously and appreciate your comments and taking the time to be here. We want to do what’s best for all of Lumpkin County and it’s tough when you come to these situations and you’re trying to improve the services for the county,” explained Chairman of the Board Chris Dockery.

Finance Director Abby Branan reviewed how the negotiations with CorrectHealth for the inmate health contract. When Sheriff Jarrard brought the contract amendment at the last meeting the board asked staff to go back and try to negotiate with the company for a different rate than what they offered. To review that meeting visit https://lumpkin.fetchyournews.com/2022/02/16/board-reviews-land-use-revisions-update-and-extends-moratorium/.

The company stated that they could not go lower than what they have already stated. That price is a $60,000 raise over the previous contract. The board told Branan to go back and see if they would agree to a month-to-month payment system in order to give the board time to bid out to see if there are lower options available.

“We may find out if they participate in the bid process that they do have the best bid out there but until we do it we won’t know,” stated Commissioner District 2 Bobby Mayfield.

Mincey informed the board that for the broadband infrastructure project they have also received the federal grant as well which is another 8 million for the project. They have already been awarded 3.7 million from the state. There’s still more work Mincey has to do before she brings the full report back to the board.

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