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Budget Committee votes to fund animal shelter at $350,000

Members of the Washington County Budget Committee are recommending the county commission match Johnson City’s support of $350,000 for a new animal shelter.
The resolution approved during the March 15 meeting indicates $250,000 would be a cash contribution toward the purchase of land or construction of a building, with up to $100,000 in paving services provided by the county highway department.
“If we are going to stay full partners, the county is obligated to match the amount the city has already committed,” Mayor Dan Eldridge said.
Eldridge said it is significant the majority of funds for the project will be raised through a capital campaign conducted by the Washington County-Johnson City Animal Control Board.
“If the money is not raised at the end of 24 months, we (city and county) will sell the land and split the money,” he said.
According to the resolution, the land and all improvements would be equally and jointly owned by the City of Johnson City and Washington County, subject to the Animal Control Board’s possession of the property through a $1 annual rental lease agreement.
The county’s commitment is contingent upon unanimous vote of the county’s representatives on the board, Commissioners David Tomita and Pat Wolfe, to approve the purchase of the new animal control site,
“At the end of the day, the Animal Control Board has the final say,” Eldridge said. “But if our two representatives are not completely on board, we can reconsider our decision.”
Commissioner Joe Grandy moved to recommend the $350,000 contribution to the full commission.
The motion was seconded by Commissioner Ethan Flynn, who said he reserved his right to vote against funding the shelter during the commission meeting.
Flyers distributed locally indicate the Washington County Concerned Citizens for Animals are planning a 4:30 p.m. rally prior to the March 26 commission meeting at 6 p.m.