Economy too lean for animal shelter

By By Steve Swogetinsky/The Meridian Star
July 3, 2001
QUITMAN While not questioning the need, one Clarke County supervisor believes a slow economy may delay the county's investment in creating an animal shelter.
Sue Sexton, who has headed up the drive to open an animal shelter, brought a proposed budget to the supervisors during their Monday meeting. No agreements have been made, but it is envisioned Clarke County would share the costs of building and maintaining an animal shelter with its five municipalities.
All would contribute the same percentage (not amount), based on their tax base.
Sexton's plan is to build a concrete block building across the street from the Clarke County Jail on Highway 513. She estimates the building will cost between $25,000 and $30,000, including fences and equipment. That cost may be lower with the help of volunteer labor, she said.
Sexton wants to divide the construction payment over three years.
She said her operating budget would then spend $1,800 per month, or $21,600 annually. That would cover labor, supplies and utilities. With that, and the note on the building, she believes the counties and cities would need to come up with $30,000 annually for the first three years.
She noted that this seems expensive, but also maintained the need for an animal shelter in Clarke County.
Supervisor Tony Fleming of District 5 doesn't question the need for the animal shelter, but said it is unlikely the county can afford to make the investment at this time.
Steve Swogetinsky is regional editor of The Meridian Star. Call him at 693-1551, ext. 3217, or e-mail him at sswogetinsky@themeridianstar.com.

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