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City land donation for shelter still ‘possible’; ARF building set for 2022 start

Grangeville City Hall

Grangeville City Hall

— Plans for constructing a regional animal shelter facility continue to move forward with a new ground-breaking date within four years. Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF), a nonprofit group, updated the Grangeville City Council last Monday, July 16, on its achieved benchmarks so far, and also sought clarification that public land promised for the facility is still available.

Among the group’s achievements, according to ARF president Sara Espeland, were its establishment as a 501c3, formation of a nine-person board of directors, creation of concept plans and a feasibility study, good community input from an April public meeting, and raising more than $10,000 during a May charity event.

From here the next benchmarks include creating a sustainability plan, and the essential securing of grant funding for construction, all of which is proposed to be in place for groundbreaking by 2022.

“So, that’s a lot to happen by then,” Espeland said, “but we’re feeling really optimistic with what’s happened recently.”

In updating the council, Espeland also sought confirmation that city land – an approximate half-acre sloped section next to the wastewater plant – donated to ARF as stated in a 2015 letter of intent, was still available.

“It’s still possible,” said Mayor Wes Lester. The uncertainty here is due to the potential need for that land for future expansion of the wastewater facility. Expanding on this, public works supervisor Bob Mager explained the main trunk line comes in through the center of the field where the proposed ARF facility would be located. As it is, a portion of the property being provided to ARF is required to be clear of permanent structures due to underlying infrastructure.

“If the town keeps growing,” Mager said, “we’re going to have put in a bigger feed line in there.”

Lester’s preference would be to relocate the proposed ARF facility west on flat ground that would be better for construction and operations. This is dependent upon whether a proposed private land donation to the city, as yet still uncertain, were to come to pass.

Were the ARF facility to be relocated farther west on flat ground, this would continue to work with the existing concept plans, according to Espeland, and reduce some construction elements such as retaining walls.

“We’d have more room to expand, more room for the run and for parking,” she said.

Related to the project, Espeland noted ARF has been in communication with other communities within the county and surrounding areas concerning the project.

“At this point, it’s still looking very positive that other people would want to contribute, whether their contribution would be some kind annual commitment to use our services or animal control contracts,” she said. “It’s good that there’re all still interested.”


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