What will it take to build a new animal shelter?

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Re: “County must fund new animal shelter in this year’s budget,” Times editorial, Saturday:

On Saturday, after reading the most recent editorial regarding the Wilson County Animal Shelter, I thought, “How much more can be done to encourage the commissioners, and other county leaders, to do the right thing to fully fund, and build the new animal shelter?”

Over the weekend, while going through old newspaper clippings, I came across an article titled, “New timeline for animal shelter?” written by Olivia Neeley. She addressed the same issues written in Saturday’s editorial, as well as in other articles and letters sent in by the public over the past few months. What is most interesting and striking about Olivia Neeley’s article is it was published on Monday, June 11, 2018!

We have now reached a crisis where the state inspection is approaching failure status with the real possibility that the shelter may be closed. No one seems to have any answers or real solutions to fix this crisis, even though the funding for a new shelter began in 2009.

Yes, there are new conversations among county leaders about how to proceed, but for years, talk without action has not solved the problem. As addressed in Olivia Neeley’s article a year ago, there still remains questions and confusion today about how the collected fees were intended to be spent. We have entrusted our officials, those who served in the past and those currently serving, to be good stewards of our money and build a shelter. Perhaps it would be a service to the public for The Wilson Times to publish a financial report as to how this money has been spent for the last 10 ½ years.

So, I ask the same old question: What do the residents of this county need to do in order for our elected county commissioners to make this happen? The citizens have done their part by paying the animal fees, which as a reminder, went into effect Jan. 1, 2009 — 10 ½ years ago.

The animal rescue groups have done their part, continuing to work with the shelter staff to rescue and adopt as many animals as they can, operating on small budgets, funded mostly by donations, and volunteers who generously donate their time. It appears that everyone, except the commissioners, have done their part.

Where do we go from here? If the Wilson County Animal Shelter is closed, the next question will be: Where do the animals go from here?

Nora Williford