A meeting to discuss a proposed animal shelter by the Camden County Commission and Sheriff's Department has the potential to draw opposition from some who may not be in favor of the facility being located near their homes and others who want to know if the animals housed there will be killed.
The meeting is scheduled for Thursday afternoon from 4 to 6 p.m. at the MoDOT building on Highway E in Montreal. The county is in the process of purchasing the property from the Missouri Department of Transportation. The initial plans presented by the county for the property included using part of it for the road and bridge department and the remaining portion for an animal shelter.
When the plan was initially discussed, Presiding Commissioner Kris Franken was asked if the shelter would be euthanizing animals. Franken declined to answer "until those sorts of details were worked out."
The county sees the location as optimum for an animal shelter because the surrounding area is rural. The facility would allow the county to address the number of animal calls they receive every year. The department is limited in their ability to deal with the animals once they have responded to the call. No kill shelters in the lake area are filled to capacity and often have to turn animals away.
The county estimated the cost of opening a shelter and getting it in functioning condition at $40,000. The sheriff's department and Franken met with the Missouri Department of Agriculture to get designs approved for the conversion before they made an offer on the property to ensure that the facility would be suitable and in compliance with state and federal regulations.
The idea of Camden County having an animal shelter is not new. It has been discussed for years. In 2007, Camden County purchased the former Dogwood Animal Shelter with plans to turn it into an animal control facility. Those plans were scratched after the building ended up in the flight path of the Camdenton Memorial Airport. The city and MoDOT ended up purchasing the building from the county. The money set aside for the proposed shelter is the proceeds from the sales of that property.
Animal control was an issue in 2008, when Camden County voters approved a sales tax increase for general revenue and law enforcement. The tax passed with the assurance that the sheriff's department would hire two animal control officers.
In a previous interview, Franken said there were other things the county would like to do to improve the facility once it is operational. He said the county would 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.
Page 2 of 2 - 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. That means that the animal shelter account is paying $45,000 for their portion of the property and have the remaining $40,000 still in the bank for renovations and modifications.
Commissioners were not available on Wednesday for additional information.