Work on the Marshall County Animal Shelter has been placed on hold after a contractor reported a mistake on his bid. 

During a meeting Wednesday, Commission Chairman James Hutcheson said officials with Complete Construction of Albertville submitted a letter requesting their bid be withdrawn. A sub-contractor had failed to include $44,000 in costs to build drains.

“We have no choice but to rescind the bids, and rebid the project,” Hutcheson said. 

Commissioners had accepted the $289,250 bid in late May.

At the time, County Engineer Bob Pirando said initial estimates for the renovation cost exceeded $312,000. After renovations are complete, the facility should contain up to 77 kennels. The project will be paid for out of the Capital Improvement Fund.

In the meantime, Hutcheson said officials with the county, county animal control, shelter volunteers and architects will meet to discuss any additional changes to be made with the renovation project. 

The commission purchased a building and four acres of land to build a county animal shelter for $50,000 off Abbott Road near Albertville.

The Marshall County Animal Shelter will be a “no kill” shelter, Hutcheson said. He said even though the county has always been “no kill,” the cities within the county have not. The county shelter would be a place for all of the strays to be housed, but it wouldn’t be a place for people to drop off animals.

Hutcheson said last year, the county housed 455 dogs by boarding them at veterinary offices and other privately-owned businesses, and 452 of those dogs were adopted. Only three weren’t able to be adopted, because two were considered too vicious and one was too sick to save.

The county shelter would not only be for dogs, but it would be a safe place to house cats, he said. According to Hutcheson, they would add a “cat room” to the building, and it would be an indoor place to house stray cats until they are adopted. 

In other business, commissioners also:

• Approved installing a new HVAC unit at the Archives Office at a cost of $4,450 from the Courthouse and Jail Fund. Probate Judge Andrea LeCroy said the archives office houses various documents, some dating back to the 1800s that must be kept in a climate controlled environment.

• Approved adding Kim Crowley as a Community Mental Health Officer. She joins a team of two other officers who are tasked with responding to calls by area police when there are concerns of a person’s mental health status, LeCroy said. The officers may recommend a person be taken to a hospital or other facility for examination, she said, and are on a weekly call rotation. The position is unpaid and the officer is subject to call after the courthouse closes.

• Announced applications will be accepted for one seat on the 911 Board, currently held by Ricky Petty, two spots on both the Mountain Lakes Behavioral Health Board and two spots on the Marshall Jackson 310 Agency. The application period will be open for two weeks.

• Set a public hearing for July 8 to vacate an unnamed right of way off Norberg Road.

• Gave approval for a 20 mile per hour speed limit on Godwin Lane.

• Approved a Cooperative Service Agreement between the Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and Wildlife Service for beaver removal, cost not to exceed $5,000.

• Approved two payments for Wilk’s Tire and Battery for $46.99 and $114.89. Both bills were for flat tire repairs. 

• Approved applying for several grants, including a $50,000 Homeland Security Grant to purchase P-25 compliant radios for Sheriff’s deputies and a no-match Homeland Security Grant for 2020 on behalf of partner agencies.

• Approved a State-Local Disaster Assistance Agreement for FEMA-4503-DR-AL (COVID-19) with a 25 percent match. EMA Director Anita McBurnett said the grant helps pay for protective measures. McBurnett said the grant could range from $65,000 to $69,000.

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