Purchasing method to save animal shelter money

Tony Casey • Jul 9, 2014 at 9:03 PM

The Animal Control Board found an extra cost-saving tactic as it continues to improve plans for the new Washington County-Johnson City Animal Shelter.

City manager Pete Peterson tossed out an idea that because the board has tax-exempt status, any purchases big enough for the project, bigger than $25,000, could be done through them rather than outside contractors and ultimately save extra cash that could be used in other aspects of the new shelter’s design.

Peterson guessed the savings could be $20,000-$30,000.

“We can shave some money off the cost of that building by the Animal Control Board making the major purchases,” he said.

This would require the board to sign the purchase orders and process check requests for items like the metal building, which would have it put up a down payment before construction would begin. This idea was met with enthusiasm from the other members, helping add funds to the project.

Another way funds have come in well has been by the work of Mayor Ralph Van Brocklin and the board members to secure donations. Previously touched upon by Van Brocklin was a donor who had pledged $500,000 to the project. He said after securing the check the night before that Wednesday night was time to announce that those donors are Judy and Doug Lowrie, whose contributions are appreciated by the board.

“The Lowries have been very gracious in this donation,” he said. “They’ve donated to many things in this community, including Niswonger Children’s Hospital. And there will probably be additional donations made to the shelter over time.”

Monetary donations like the Lowries’ have been totaling up to help with the construction of the new shelter, already being constructed on the 6.6-acre plot of land at 3411 N. Roan St. The design has had some recent changes, Van Brocklin said, which will help Director Debbie Dobbs and her staff operate. Two notable changes included expanding a major hallway through the middle of the shelter at the expense of losing a few dog kennels so the traffic flowof staff and potential adopters would be smoother as well as providing cat socialization areas instead of keeping them separate from one another.

Minor tweaks to the design may occur moving forward, but Peterson said as far as the first few phases of construction things are moving along well, with an expected construction completion date set for the end of the calendar year. He said nothing has popped up yet to make them believe there would any delays.

“Site work has moved along real good,” Peterson said. “They’ve got the building pad ready, a lot of the drainage work is complete.”

He said it could be expected that steel will be going up in four to five weeks. The drought, he said, has been hard on farmers making hay, but sure has been good for construction.

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