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County officials are in the final stages of adjustment and design plans for Wilson County’s new animal shelter.
The sheriff’s office and county maintenance staff met with engineers and the general contractor last week to discuss the project.
“We want to make sure that we include needs and efficiencies and other fine-tuning, with the overall goal being to have what we need to have a successful shelter that is a great place for pets and animals and creates an opportunity to connect them with a forever home,” said Ron Hunt, Wilson County’s assistant manager.
The new shelter is expected to be much larger than the current shelter on Airport Drive. It will also offer greater flexibility of space as animals’ needs change, county officials said.
Hunt said if all goes well, the county hopes to break ground by this summer.
“In the next few months, citizens will see a sign going up at the N.C. 42 East site indicating the new future home of the shelter,” Hunt said.
In May, county commissioners took significant steps toward making the new animal shelter a reality. Commissioners appropriated an additional $370,000 to the animal shelter’s capital reserve fund. Wilson County Manager Denise Stinagle also earmarked another $100,000 for that same reserve fund for the current 2019-20 budget, which brings the total to $800,000. The new shelter’s cost hasn’t been firmed up yet, but those numbers should be finalized soon.
In June, commissioners voted unanimously to confirm the shelter’s site on the county-owned land, which will be near the county’s Solid Waste Services and just minutes from the city of Wilson’s operations center and Wilson Community College, and a short drive off U.S. 301.
The developments came after the current animal shelter on Airport Drive failed a state inspection. Maintenance staffers worked on repairs to bring the facility into compliance.
Hunt said residents can also visit www.wilson-co.com and click on “Animal Shelter Updates/Follow Our Paws” where county officials will continue to post shelter updates and construction plans.