The closed MoDOT building in Montreal will soon come under new ownership. Camden County officials became interested in the building and property when MoDOT shut down the facility.

The closed MoDOT building in Montreal will soon come under new ownership. Camden County officials became interested in the building and property when MoDOT shut down the facility.

MoDOT area engineer Bob Lynch confirmed that both parties have agreed on the price of $58,000 which includes 3.67 acres, a main building and a storage shed. "The negotiation process is complete," Lynch said. The county has paid a down payment of 10% of the cost. Paperwork needs to be completed. Then, a closing date can be set and the purchase can be completed.

Camden County's plan is to use most of the property for an animal shelter. "We will be converting the main masonary structure into the animal shelter.  We feel that this area is optimum for this type of facility because the surrounding area is very rural and agricultural," Presiding Commissioner Kris Franken said.

"The sheriff's department receives a large number of animal calls every year and we are very limited in our ability to deal with the animals once they have responded to the call.  In addition, the surrounding counties do not have facilities either and that has caused dumping of animals into Camden County along the borders, making the problem worse," he added.

The idea of Camden County needing an animal shelter is not new. "The sheriff's department and myself met with the Missouri Department of Agriculture to get our designs approved for the conversion before we ever made an offer on the property to insure that the facility would meet our needs and be in compliance with state and federal regulations.  We are currently working on plans to have available so that we can go out to bid for drain installation in the building and the kennel construction.  We have been working together on this on and off for over a year and the availability of the MODOT property at the right price point has allowed the project to move forward," said Franken.

When asked if the shelter would be a kill shelter or a hold shelter, Franken declined answering until those sorts of details were worked out.

The cost of opening a shelter and getting it in functioning condition has been estimated at $40,000 by the county. "There are other things that we would like to do to improve the facility once it is operational and we will be working through grants and partnerships with other taxing entities to accomplish these additional goals.  All of the monies that are being expended on the animal shelter are currently on deposit from the sale of the old animal shelter.  In addition, Road and Bridge is contributing $13,000 to secure the salt bins, oil tank and other related items that are on the property that will be of use to them.  This means that the animal shelter account is paying $45,000 for their portion of the property and have the remaining $40,000.00 still in the bank for renovations and modifications," Franken said.

Closing on the property will take place after all involved parties have signed the contract. "At that point we will go to bid for the two main areas of work and get to work on getting the septic system permitted," said Franken. He also added that the county would like to have the shelter functional by the end of 2012, but a definite date has not been set yet. "We want to make sure that we do everything correctly so that the shelter functions properly for an extended period of time with minimal maintenance once it is placed into service," he said.

Camden county was not the first interested buyer in this property. MoDOT was in contact with an individual, but according to Lynch, "negotiations did not go anywhere." The individual did not return phone calls from the Lake Sun as of press time.