HAZARD — Citizens in Perry, Knott, Letcher, and Breathitt counties who are trying to have animals rescued or be an adoptive pet-parent will have a new animal shelter facility to look forward to —the plans for which are still in their infancy.
The board of the Kentucky River Regional Animal Shelter (KRRAS), located in Perry County and serving Knott, Letcher, Perry, and Breathitt, has planned for this new shelter for months but just recently set about moving plans along.
Perry County Judge-Executive Denny Ray Noble said the board had already purchased land just behind the Coal Fields Industrial Park for $22,500 to put the facility on, and are now waiting for a bid on an architect to come through.
“We’ve got to get an architect to get in there and draw the plans out and kind of get us in budget on how big a building we can build,” Noble said.
Blueprints from a shelter in Leslie County were brought in by Noble to give the KRRAS board an idea of what they should be aiming for with their plans. Noble said the board will have $600,000 from coal severance funds, $400,000 of which came from the multi-county coal severance fund, for the project, but will have to be sure to stay in budget.
“We’re going to stay in budget because it’s not a good time to borrow,” he said.
Tammy Noble chairs the KRRAS board, and said members have already made sure they will stay in budget, since most of the counties the shelter serves are in financial turmoil right now.
“Obviously we’ll do the shelter in a way, we’ll position it in a way to where we can build on, because we won’t have enough money at first to build it as big as we need it to be,” she explained.
Noble said he signed a contract to renew the lease on the land the current shelter is on for another year, which should be long enough to get the new facility up and running. He said the area the current shelter is in is not an ideal space for a shelter.
“We actually need to get it going now, as soon as possible. We’re just hoping we get a better area, the one that we’ve got out there now is kind of in the swamp and we’re always having to pump the tanks and this and that, and it’s real old and it’s impossible to keep it clean,” he said.
The new facility will be up on what Noble called a high-rise, keeping those “swamp” issues from making operations at the shelter more difficult.
Noble also said if the shelter owns the land it is on then there are more financial opportunities for the facility.
“There’s all kinds of grants come in all the time, but the animal shelter can’t get the grants if they don’t own the property,” he said.