The job of building
the new Porter County Animal Shelter has been officially given to
The Porter County
Commissioners voted 3-0 Tuesday to award the contract to the LaPorte-based
firm with two contingencies -- that County Attorney Scott McClure has final
review of the contract and that the County Council allocate the funds needed
then voted unanimously to ask the County Council to tap into $2,250,000 of
the $10 million in proceeds from the Porter Memorial Hospital sale principal
set aside for capital projects.
That is not
including the $1 million donation from Valparaiso resident and Shelter
benefactor Jacki Stutzman. Her donation will allow additional amenities such
as an area where dogs and cats could be spayed or neutered to be built.
Good, R-Center, told the Chesterton Tribune he believes the final
cost could be close to $2.5 million, but it’s hard to say at this point.
getting a $3 million building for $2 million is how I see it (with the
donation),” Good said after the meeting.
talked of putting Stutzman’s donation in a sub-fund instead of being mixed
in with the Shelter’s regular donation fund.
President John Evans, R-North, suggested part of the Shelter be named for
Stutzman in appreciation for her generosity. Commissioner Laura Shurr Blaney,
D-South, who is Stutzman’s niece, said she “did not ask for that” but “she
would appreciate it very much.”
The County Council
will meet on Tuesday, June 28, to decide whether to support the $2.25
million amount. Under home rule, unanimous votes from both the Commissioners
and the Council are required to spend any of the hospital principal.
The $10 million for
capital projects represents the amount of hospital money that was not
invested into a foundation endowment fund created by the County.
In a related
matter, the Commissioners also voted 3-0 to accept a bid of $45,665 from
Olson Construction to build a new offsite access road for the Shelter, which
was about $10,000 less than a bid submitted by a second firm, Walsh & Kelly.
McClure said he is
in discussions with the Indiana Department of Transportation on getting a
right-of-way permit for the road extension and mentioned “they are willing
to process it.” The Shelter will sit off of Ind. 49 near the County Expo
Center and Fairgrounds on Division Rd.
Mike Jabo of DLZ
Indiana said bids have also been collected to extend sewer and waterlines
from the fairgrounds but advised to wait until July to select one so it will
not interfere with the County Fair’s run.
Good said that the
proper permitting will be acquired before construction officially begins.
“We are holding ourselves to the same standards as everyone else,” he said.