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Architect to receive $87,500 to build new animal shelter

During their July 17 meeting, members of the Washington County-Johnson City Animal Control Board approved a flat fee of $87,500 for architect Thomas Weems to build the new animal shelter on North Roan Street.
Weems, who was present at the meeting, said the contract includes site development and construction, which is set up to be bid rather than negotiated.
“At 15,000-square-feet, the price could be less or more based on any (adjustments or additions), but my fee will not change,” he said, adding 10 percent of his fee will be donated to the project.
According to Weems, the preliminary scheme pushes the building to the back of the lot, leaving the front open for growth, lease or sale.
Commissioner David Tomita made a motion to approve up to $1.75 million for site development and building construction, which was seconded by Beverly Greene, of the Humane Society, and passed unanimously. Including the purchase of the land, the total cost for the project comes to approximately $2.2 million.
Shelter Director Debbie Dobbs said the first $100,000 from Washington County’s commitment has been received and Project Manager Phil Pindzola has indicated the City of Johnson City will take care of the site work and preparation.
Progress on the private side appears to be much slower.
Fundraising Chair Jane Myron reported she has manned tables promoting the project during community events, sent letters to county commissioners, made personal contacts with city commissioners, and approached several businesses about in-kind donations of products. She is also waiting for responses from five local foundations.
“The only money I have received is from people I have called on,” she said. “I have had very few returned calls.”
Myron reminded board members they were asked to each contact five people about making a gift.
Board member Jim Reel wanted to identify the rooms in the new building so he could approach prospective donors about naming opportunities, but Tomita said a marketing plan is needed first.
“We missed an opportunity with the land purchase, but we have another one with the naming opportunities,” he said. “This is as haphazard as I’ve ever seen it done for this amount of money, and I don’t want to have another false start.”
Weems said he could have color renderings of the new building available to assist with the fund raising campaign within two to three months of receiving the final details.
A lot more information on the user end is still needed, according to Weems. “To say we’re ready to start tomorrow, no, we’re not,” he said.