The mayor’s council and alderman approved a proposal totaling $ 117,300 with architect Michael Bernard with Animal Shelters of America for the design and administration of the construction of a new animal shelter for Vicksburg.
The approval came at Wednesday’s board meeting. City attorney Nancy Thomas said the city will sign a contract with Bernard at a later date. She said he sent the proposal “to make sure everyone was okay”.
According to the proposal, the cost of administering the design and construction should not exceed $ 97,750, and expenses should not exceed $ 19,550. The council worked with Animal Shelters of America, based in Arlington, Texas, to develop a new shelter on a property at 4845 US Highway 61 South. The 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.
Mayor George Flaggs Jr. said the budget for the project is $ 1 million and it will be paid for using federal funds from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).
Flaggs said after the meeting that the law allows cities to receive funding to replace lost revenue caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We had lost general fund income for the previous year (2020) and for the future,” he said. “We’re going to turn the tide and reassign him (to the animal shelter project). “
The city, Flaggs said, will receive $ 2.4 million in ARPA funds this year and $ 2.4 million in 2022. year, ”he said. “It’s a great design; Everyone’s fingerprints are on it.
City authorities have been considering a new animal shelter for several years. The current shelter is 50 years old and sits on a plot of land on Old Mill Road adjacent to the Vicksburg Fire Department Training Center in the community of Kings.
The current shelter is located in a flood zone and is likely to be 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. area, and a 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 of this year, 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.