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County takes control of animal shelter

By Staff
ANIMAL SHELTER Feleesha Chisolm came to the animal shelter with her three children to adopt a mother cat and two kittens. Her son, Seth, 4, really wanted a puppy for his birthday on Wednesday. Starting today, the shelter will be operated by Lauderdale County instead of the city of Meridian. Photo by Carisa McCain / The Meridian Star
By Chris Allen Baker/staff writer
Jan. 24, 2002
Starting today, Lauderdale County residents now have a county-wide shelter to bring stray animals for proper care.
The board of supervisors earlier this week put the final touches on transferring the city of Meridian's animal control division to county control.
With passage of an ordinance last year, officials said they hope that a single animal control center accepting animals from anywhere in the county will curb problems residents have had with dogs roaming at-large in recent years.
Approval was given for Dewayne Sosebee and Theresa Broadway to become sworn animal control officers for the county with Sosebee serving as director. Supervisors also approved $200 for a petty cash fund for the center.
Supervisors accepted a $49,100 bid from R.E. Pierce Construction Inc., for construction of a pre-engineered metal building that will house the animal control center.
County Administrator Rex Hiatt said construction is expected to start immediately and will include a concrete slab and the shell of the building in the beginning, with future work to be performed later.
The bid accepted was the lowest of five received with the next higher bid at $61,259 and the highest bid reaching $67,784.
After three weeks of trying to re-negotiate with city officials, supervisors also agreed to accept a 1999 Ford truck used for animal control by the city and will make the final payment of $5,092.90.
On Jan. 3, Jimmie Smith, then board president and District 2 supervisor, asked Boswell and Craig Hitt, District 3 supervisor and current president, to continue trying to convince the city to make the final payment on the truck before it was turned over to the county.
The county will use the Fifth Avenue location formerly maintained by the city of Meridian.