Jane Owens

Guntersville resident Jane Owens presented several questions to the Marshall County Commission about the proposed animal shelter during Wednesday's meeting.

Guntersville resident Jane Owens met with the Marshall County Commission during its Wednesday meeting to talk about the status of the proposed animal shelter.

Owens is part of the group of volunteers working with the Commission to ensure the shelter is built in a way that will best serve the workers and animals. She urged both sides to continue working with one another.

“I really don’t want us to butt heads on getting this animal shelter built,” she said. “We need to work together on this and make a difference for animals in our county.”

Owens also had several questions for the Commission. She brought a written-out form with each question on it. Each Commissioner was given a copy at the meeting. Commission Chairman James Hutcheson assure Owens she would hear back from the Commission soon.

Most of the questions dealt with the possibility of a fence that would enclose the entire property. The questions were as follows:

Is the Commission planning on building a 4-acre fence around the entire property at Abbott Road?

If so, what is the purpose/function of the fence?

What is the estimated cost of the fence?

Will it go out to bid and will Kevin Hooks be allowed to bid on it?

Does the Commission believe building a fence is a wise use of taxpayers dollars considering the more pressing needs in the building itself?

Can we wait to build the fence until after the renovations are completed?

Could the fence not be installed to go around just the exterior of the building and not the entire 4-acres?

If the shelter has appropriate walls, windows and doors, why would an exterior fence be necessary at all?

Will there be a gate at the drive, what are the public hours, when are staff present and how will the public have access?

All of these questions were given to the Commissioners. Owens ended by asking for an update on the blueprints for the shelter and possible funding.

She asked, “Have the blueprints been updated and could some of the $18 million coming from COVID relief be used for the shelter?”

County Engineer Bob Pirando said blueprints have been updated and are currently with the architect. Hutcheson said he couldn’t answer the question about funding at this time.

The Commission will hold a special called meeting today, Wednesday, at 9 a.m. to discuss possible projects to fund using the Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Grant. The grant will provide a little more than $18 million to the county. More on this story is elsewhere in this paper.

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