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Mayor Ralph Van Brocklin presents City Commission with details about animal shelter progress, major donor of project revealed

September 5th, 2013 10:11 pm by Jennifer Sprouse

Mayor Ralph Van Brocklin presents City Commission with details about animal shelter progress, major donor of project revealed

Contributed picture of Ryan Broyles, president and CEO of Roadrunner Markets. Broyles and his father, Warren, contributed $100,000 to the shelter on behalf of Roadrunner Markets.

After major items were checked off the Animal Control Board’s list this week, Mayor Ralph Van Brocklin brought detailed information on the progress of the new Washington County-Johnson City Animal Shelter to the City Commission Thursday night and revealed the identity of one major donor for the project.

Not wasting any time, Van Brocklin spoke first at the meeting to commissioners and those in attendance about the board’s vote to construct the building on the property at 3411 N. Roan St., the design of the building, as well as funding associated with construction of the new shelter.

The shelter, a partnership using both Johnson City and Washington County monies, as well as private contributions, already has around $267,000 in committed private contributions.

The largest contributor to the animal shelter efforts was identified Thursday, revealing a $100,000 contribution from Ryan and Warren Broyles on behalf of Roadrunner Markets.

“(They are) wonderful citizens of this community, wonderful corporate citizens,” Van Brocklin said. “(They) contribute to many things, not just the animal shelter, and they deserve a lot of thanks from this community for what they did. They also need to be acknowledged for their prior contribution of $10,000.”

Ryan Broyles, president and CEO of Roadrunner Markets, said Thursday that they felt contributing to the shelter was “the right thing to do.”

“It’s not just a new shelter,” Broyles said. “It’s going to help prolong the life of the cats and dogs. It’ll give them a longer stay there to be adopted and so, obviously that’s a good thing. With the city stepping up to the plate on getting this thing off the ground ... we felt that it was time to help pitch in as well, and to make it an even better facility that what the first plan was.”

He said an animal shelter and the overall treatment of animals is a direct reflection of community involvement and interaction.

“How a community treats its animals, really, is a reflection on the community ... as a whole. If we don’t care about them ... and how we treat them, then what does it say about Johnson City and Washington County and people who may want to move here, live here or people who live here currently?” Broyles said. “With the money they have so far ... it’s going to be able to raise the number of days that they’ll be able to stay at the shelter. It just gives those ... potential pets time to get adopted.”

Van Brocklin discussed the two-story building structure decided on by the Animal Control Board and included information about heating and air conditioning for the kennel area to be located in the large area in the back of the building. 

City Commissioner Jeff Banyas, questioned both items.

“My initial impression is the two-story building or roof is going to be a heating and cooling nightmare,” Banyas said. “I’m not sure that you couldn’t accomplish air circulation with fan, instead of (a two-story building structure). I think we can make any building look nice with the facade, but I really would rather the money be spent on the animals, instead of a higher roof.”

The mayor said he initially was skeptical of the two-story structure for the shelter, but said the architect indicated a plan “to use radiant heating and that it will not cause a large increase in the heating aspect of it. The idea with the air conditioning, at least at this point, is to utilize it when we have those really hot days where you just have to, but not necessarily utilize it throughout the summer.”

Commissioner Jenny Brock said she was pleased to hear the shelter would be simple and functional in design, and suggested involving the Johnson City Power Board to help with the building’s energy efficiency.

“The Power Board is an expert in this and they’re doing a lot of work, kind of at the design phase now, to help people design those buildings (to) be as energy efficient as possible,” she said.

Brock also voiced concern about funding and budget for the shelter, and asked about the plan should the shelter exceed the estimated costs.

Van Brocklin said if that does happen, the board would scale back shelter plans, but said he has not looked at which plans in so much detail.

He also addressed in his presentation Thursday the potential plans for expansion in phase two of the project, which could include a spay and neuter clinic, a saliport, space expansion for both dogs and cats and a formal adoption room.

In other business, commissioners approved the first reading for an amended noise ordinance.

Van Brocklin said Wednesday that the amendment hopes to address noise problems in area neighborhoods.

The amendment to the ordinance will add the C-weighted network, which reportedly measures low-frequency sounds, according to City Attorney James Epps IV.

He said audiologist, Dr. Daniel Schumaier, will be present at the next meeting to discuss the finite details of the C-weighted network.

According to the agenda summary of the ordinance, the city’s legal department, Johnson City Police and Schumaier have also reviewed ordinances from different localities that have measured low frequency sounds.

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