After years of debate and finding the right location, Vicksburg has a new animal shelter.
The mayor’s and aldermen’s council on Friday approved a design for the shelter, which will be built at 4845 US Highway 61 South. This property and the existing building that will be used for the shelter were donated by the Ernest Thomas family for the purpose of building the animal shelter.
City officials estimate the cost of the new shelter to be between $ 993,967 and $ 1.4 million.
The design for the shelter was presented at a press conference Thursday in the meeting room of the Robert M. Walker building on Walnut Street.
Community Development Director Jeff Richardson said the next phase of the project involves signing a contract with Shelter Planners of America in Arlington, Texas to prepare plans and specifications for the project and launch it for submission. .
“After discussion, commentary and working with different people on the animal shelter, they (Shelter Planners of America) presented a conceptual design for the site and the actual animal shelter,” said South Ward Alderman Alex Monsour. “All the problems have been solved. “
He said the board was looking for ways to fund the project without raising property taxes.
“We looked at eight different sites,” said North Ward Alderman Michael Mayfield. “At the end of the day, you do what you have to do. I think this design is put together pretty well. We’re at this point where we’re going to have to move forward from here. There will likely be further discussions. We’re going to come by here and see what happens.
City authorities have been considering a new animal shelter for several years. The current shelter is almost 50 years old and sits on a plot of land on Old Mill Road next to the Vicksburg Fire Department Training Center in the community of Kings.
The current shelter is in a flood zone and is at risk of being surrounded by flash floods. It was threatened by the 2019 floods and the animals had to be evacuated in the 2011 floods. City officials considered several potential sites, including municipal properties in a section of Cedar Hill Cemetery next to the avenue. Sky Farm.
On February 21, 2020, Flaggs, other city officials and city resident Marilyn Terry, who recommended a shelter building, visited the former US Rubber Reclaiming factory off US 61 South, which belongs to the city and is located in a flooded area. and the Oak Street site in the 2100 block of Oak Street south of Depot Street.
Problems with Oak Street ownership forced city officials to remove the site from review. In August, the board considered 14.3 acres of land at 4211 Rifle Range Road owned by Cappaert Holdings LLP, but the city could not afford the $ 1.5 million to purchase the land and build the shelter.
The Thomas family offered to donate the property and metal building on US 61 South in September.