FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) – A new Franklin County animal shelter has run into some issues with development. So now, the county’s humane society is seeking hundreds of thousands in additional funding from the city of Frankfort – but can the city provide it?
“We’ve been in a floodplain for almost 50 years so obviously this was needed,” said Sam Marcus of the Franklin County Humane Society.
Marcus says the humane society’s relocation is now about 30 percent complete, but they’ve hit a roadblock. Companion Place needed to be paved for the shelter to open and it came at a high price.
“We shouldn’t have to pay for this road,” Marcus said. “It’s a public street, it’s your road, and it’s a $350,000 cost.”
He says the project should be done by the end of August so they need the funds to finish the job. But the city of Frankfort has already committed $1 million to the project, and city commissioner Katrisha Waldridge says it’s a private road.
“I feel that it’s not our responsibility,” said Waldridge, who also serves as mayor pro tempore. “We donated the $1 million and that can be for the building or for the infrastructure that he may need.”
Waldridge says this project carries a higher price tag and larger scale than necessary…
“When I think about $6.5 million, I don’t think about an animal shelter,” Waldridge said.
But Marcus contends that this should set the standard for the state.
“We dream big…it’s not that much bigger than our building is now,” said Marcus. ”The main thing is, it is by today’s standards of medical care and welfare and that’s something that’s pretty unique in Kentucky…unfortunately.”
Even still, Waldridge believes the city needs to save the money for several other pressing issues.
“We’re going to be one of the biggest animal shelters in the state – great,” said Waldridge. “But we also have a homeless problem, we have mental health issues in our town and that’s where our money needs to start going now.”
Marcus hopes the public will encourage city commissioners to have a discussion about further funding. He says they’ve had talks with some on the board about discussing it in this Monday’s work session. But they need three out of five commissioners to agree to discuss the matter, and Waldridge says she is standing firm in her position that they can’t give any more money.
However, Waldridge noted that she is in support of the animal shelter, as the commissioners voted unanimously to provide the $1 million commitment. She added that once the road is complete, the city has also offered to pay for its maintenance going forward.
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