The Porter County
Commissioners have found a new site to relocate the County Animal Shelter.
Between the Porter
County Jail and the Porter County Expo Center and Fairgrounds sits a former
homesite for the Expo director, on Ind. 49, that the County still owns. At
one time the building was used as a child advocacy center for the
Prosecutor’s office and storage for the County Museum.
“That’s where (the
Shelter) is going to be,” said Commissioner President John Evans, R-North,
showing a map image of the five-acre property during Tuesday’s Board of
Commissioners meeting. “We finally believe we have a location everyone can
fellow Commissioner Laura Shurr Blaney, D-South, for first suggesting the
location after the board spent a good part of three years searching for a
suitable site for a new, larger animal shelter.
The process began
early in 2012 when the Commissioners received a report from Shelter Planners
of America recommending the County build a bigger shelter in the wake of
problems at the current 42-year-old facility, located on Ind. 2 south of
Even with gradual
improvements, Blaney said Tuesday that the current Shelter has poor
ventilation and water pressure, as well as a lack of space where animals can
meet with their potential adoptive families.
in 2013 proposed building a new shelter at Sunset Hill Farm County Park, but
backed off due to opposition from the Porter County Parks Foundation and
other park supporters.
Evans said the Expo
Center site is desirable because there are no residencies in proximity that
would be disturbed by the shelter. Blaney said the location follows
recommendations it be in an accessible area with a lot of traffic since it
is on Ind. 49 near U.S. 30 and Division Rd.
“It should work out
good for all concerns,” Evans said.
The offer of $1
million by an independent and anonymous donor still remains available to the
County, said Evans, adding that it “would be pretty foolish to let this pass
price tag for constructing a bigger animal shelter has been estimated at
different figures, but the Commissioners are looking to build the shelter
for about $2.5 million. Funding for the additional $1.5 million will need to
be discussed with the County Council, Evans and Blaney said.
Blaney said the
Commissioners have fulfilled their charge by finding a site. “They told us
to bring them a plan.”
Evans said the
vacant home and outbuildings that are there now will be razed and County
Highway Department crews will ready the site for construction in the spring.
Bids will be sought after funding is obtained and building plans are
completed, he said.
Blaney said the
floor plans done by Shelter Planners in 2012 will be used “as a starting
point” by the Commissioners.
The Shelter will
have its own access point from Ind. 49, she added.
Evans and Blaney
said that the new shelter will make sure that each animal brought there will
be spayed or neutered to help control animal populations as much as