It seemed like a very promising development last month when Washington County commissioners were talking about buying a commercial building between Johnson City and Jonesborough to become the new home for the Johnson City/Washington County Animal Shelter. Animal control officials had recommended the purchase of the 16,000-square-foot building at 103 L.P. Auer Road after shelter board members surveyed several possible sites.
The current facility at 525 Sells Ave. is in desperate need of replacement. The animal shelter takes in many more dogs and cats than the facility was ever designed to hold. Animal control officials have been asking for a new facility for more than a decade. Finding a site acceptable to both city and county officials, however, has been difficult.
Animal Control Director Debbie Dobbs told Press staff writer Heather Richardson she believes the L.P. Auer location offers adequate space for the shelter to grow over the next 20 years. Dobbs also said another appealing factor about the location is that it is in an unpopulated area of the city, which should eliminate any noise complaints.
There are a number of things that must be worked out for this deal to proceed. The animal shelter is jointly funded by Johnson City and Washington County tax dollars, which means the city must cover an equal share of the $700,000 asking price for the L.P. Auer Road property.
City officials said last month they would like to look at other locations for a new shelter. City Manager Pete Peterson said he felt it was in the best interest of citizens for the city to issue a request for other possible sites.
“While a potential relocation site has been found, it is certainly prudent to pursue other suitable options, if they are available,” Peterson said. “Prior to issuing the RFP, we needed to know how much funding was going to be committed to relocate the shelter.”
Should the search for a suitable new home for the animal shelter continue? Tell us what you think by sending your comments to Mailbag, P.O. Box 1717, Johnson City, TN 37605-1717, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name, telephone number and address for verification. We will print your responses on the Opinion pages in the coming weeks.
You also can go to www.johnsoncitypress.com to cast a vote in the online poll. Results of the poll and comments from readers will appear on this page July 19.