Committee created to see how to best use money for animal control

By Gary Scott on December 18, 2015 at 5:40am

A committee has been formed to decide whether a new animal control shelter should be built in Morgan County, or improvements should be made to the existing one.

The committee formation was approved during Monday’s county commissioner meeting. It’ll be chaired by Commissioner Ginny Fanning and also include Animal Control Warden Lyle Walker, Jacksonville Alderman Bill Scott and several others.

The project will be funded by a $385-thousand bequest from Jacksonville native Philip Howard, who ran Howard’s Cleaners in the city for 40 years prior to his death in 2012. County officials say nothing has been done with the money since the bequest was made two years ago.

Fanning notes the money can only be spent for building purposes.

“We have wanted to check into the feasibility of actually building a new facility there, south of the existing building. That is city property; there’s a shed there now that can be taken down,” says Fanning. “$385,000 sounds like a lot of money, but when you get ready to build a facility of that sort, we’ll see.”

Fanning says anyone who has visited the shelter should agree that something needs to be done.

“Rushville has a new facility. We have gone to tour that and to see theirs, but theirs was not public funds, theirs was privately-funded,” she says. “We see the need for it; we’re very fortunate to have this bequest, and we’ll hopefully go forward and be able to get us a new facility.”

The committee has already held several meetings. The group meets on the first Thursday of each month at the Morgan County Courthouse.