2015-12-16 / Front Page

New animal shelter could cost $1M

BY ERIC LEVINE 810-452-2689 • elevine@mihomepaper.com

The cost projection for constructing a new animal control shelter for Sanilac County is higher than anticipated and could delay a decision on the project.

The architect’s budget for a new building, which does not include land acquisition, is $1,145,441.

County Commissioners were expected to discuss the project, as well as cost estimates to repair the existing facility, at the finance committee on Tues., Dec. 15.

Administrator Kathy Dorman anticipated some discussion about doing minimal repairs to get the building, until a decision can be made on whether to build and where the county would get the money.

Dorman cautioned the price tag presented by the architect is preliminary, Commissioners could ask for design modifications that would lower the cost.

However, the $1.1 million does not include the cost of buying land.

While the county has shown interest in acquiring a city-owned parcel to the south of the existing facility, in the Sandusky Industrial Park, there’s been no formal contact with the city regarding a possible purchase.

County officials had been banking on a lower price for new construction.

Commissioner John Hoffmann had estimated in September that a new building would cost from $200,000 to $225,000.

The plans prepared by architect Ehresman Associates of Port Sanilac show the cost of constructing a 3,719 square foot building, and a parking lot, at $754,780.

The total estimate, minus land, tops $1 million when fees for bonds, and the architect, engineer and contractor are added.

The proposed facility would contain 24 kennels, double the number in the existing facility.

The square-footage would also be about double. Animal Control Director Jim Matson said the current building has about 1,800 square feet.

Dorman noted that Hoffmann’s estimate early on did not include the parking lot or any of the fees.

The architect’s estimate for repairs to the existing shelter are $20,000, which includes roofing, heating, ventilation and air conditioning, flooring, and a 20 percent contingency fund.

Officials have been discussing the possibility of a new building since June, because of problems with the existing facility that include no heat in the office, and a roof that leaks.

The county leases the building from the city.

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