animal services

By Bob Balgemann


BELVIDERE – Boone County Administrator Ken Terrinoni called it an aggressive timetable but he said, “We want to start (construction) as soon as possible.”

Architect Mark Schmidt will begin advertising on May 11 for bids to construct the new Boone County Animal Shelter and Adoption Center. Quotes will be due by 2 p.m. June 2, the same day as the county roads committee meeting. Bids will be discussed at that 6 p.m. meeting.

A special county board meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. June 10 to vote on the lowest, responsible bidder. Construction will begin shortly thereafter with roads committee Chairman Brad Stark saying, “We hope to be in the building by the end of the year. I don’t think anyone expected that to happen.”

Bids will include the date contractors believe the building will be finished.

Schmidt told the roads committee Tuesday night (May 5) that he didn’t believe there would be any problems.

“This is a small, simple building,” he said. “I think we could get an early start permit. Site work could begin shortly after approval of the contract.”

The building, as currently proposed, will cost between $600,000 and $900,000. It will contain 3,500 square space and include cages and kennel space for seven shelter dogs, eight adoption dogs and a small number of shelter cats. It also will have a manager’s office, administration office, lobby, consultation room, adoption room for cats, garage, work room and laundry.

Schmidt said space had been added for a training room, which also could be used by the public for activities. In addition, space had been added for a second bathroom, to provide one each for men and women.

Energy-efficient lighting

“We decided on LED lights, which are more expensive but more energy efficient,” Terrinoni reported.

The building as proposed would be a mix of concrete block and brick, though the top portion could have siding instead of brick.

“We could ask for an alternate” bid, Schmidt said, to see which material would be the least expensive.

The shelter will be built along a county-owned road extending north from Squaw Prairie Road, east of Illinois 76 and between the Maple Crest retirement home and Heritage Woods assisted living facility.

In addition, the county sheriff’s office one day may have a storage building on the same property. Some concern was expressed Tuesday night that property tax money being generated for the animal building would be used for the sheriff’s facility.

Committee member Karl Johnson, who also chairs the county finance, taxation and salaries committee, assured that would not happen. “We won’t let funds collected for the animal control building be utilized for anything else,” he said. He added that the possibility of moving dirt for another project at that location would save money.

Another committee member, Kenny Freeman, urged the architect to be certain there was sufficient room in the new building for all the needed equipment. “We had problems with this building,” he said, referring to the county administration facility on Logan Avenue.

“I think we will be pretty close to being sure the equipment fits the building,” Schmidt replied.

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