Supervisors approve Animal Shelter plans

Conceptual image of new animal shelter

Conceptual image of new animal shelter

The Inyo Supervisors voted Tuesday to approve environmental documents, plans and specifications and going out to bid for the new Inyo County Animal Shelter. The work schedule shows completion of the new facility in December.

The organization of ICARE and others have long focused on the need for a new Animal Shelter. The old facility has virtually no space for staff and the public and limited space for the animals.

The project is a true public-private partnership with the County and ICARE sharing the some $750,000 cost. ICARE launched a major fund-raising effort. President of ICARE, Ted Schade, told the Board that as of Tuesday morning, $753,000 was available for the project. He said the building will work for dogs, cats, staff and the public. He said it is actually a retail outlet to help find homes for pets.

Deputy Public Works Director Jim Tatum said that the building is “not a Taj Mahal” but as functional as possible for the money available. He said, “It’s a place where the staff can do the work they need to do and present animals to be adoptable.” Ted Schade joked that compared to the facility now in use, the new one will be a Taj Mahal.

Access for the new facility will remain off of County Road outside Big Pine. Tatum noted that the bid process will not include all items in the project and that he expects bids to come in between $640,000 and $660,000. Supervisor Chairman Rick Pucci offered a “huge thanks” to the staff and public.

Tatum said that bid packages will hit the street in the next 7 days and Public Works hopes to open bids by June 20th, go into construction in July and complete the project in December.

The Supervisors voted unanimously to adopt environmental documents, approve plans and specifications and authorize Public Works to advertise and bid the project. That prompted a round of applause for the long-wished-for project.

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