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Malone Ranch possible location for proposed animal shelter

By By Sheila Blackmon/The Meridian Star
March 2, 2001
Humane Society organizer Cheryl Walton is scheduled to meet with Lauderdale County officials today in what could be a big step toward finalizing plans for an animal shelter.
Hiatt said he asked District 5 Supervisor Ray Boswell and District 3 Supervisor Craig Hitt to attend because they are on a supervisors' committee charged with finding a solution to the stray animal problem.
At a meeting last week, Hitt asked District 4 Supervisor Q.V. Sykes to consider letting the Humane Society set up a temporary shelter in a building on a proposed Lovers' Lane recreation site. Sykes is on a supervisors' recreation committee.
Sykes said Thursday he has decided not to lease the Humane Society the building because it was originally purchased for recreational use.
Supervisors will turn the property over to the city of Meridian after the ball field is complete. Sykes said as long as city officials "keep their commitment" to maintain the park and use it for recreational purposes, the property is theirs.
But he said supervisors may decide not to turn the buildings over to Meridian for park maintenance equipment, an option they have considered.
Sykes said he has been trying to find other ways to help the Humane Society get established.
Hitt said he doesn't think the Malone Ranch site at the county's new industrial park on Highway 80 is a good location for an animal shelter.
Sykes said people wanting an industrial site could choose from more than 500 acres, but Hitt said the Malone Ranch buildings are in the center of the industrial park.
Walton said she intends to take financial reports and building plans with her to the meeting.
She said she doesn't think the shelter can be built on the landfill site and she is not sure she wants to invest the Humane Society's donated funds on a short-term structure.
Sheila Blackmon is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail her at sblackmon@themeridianstar.com.

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