Shelter ahead of schedule

The construction of a county dog shelter is approximately a week ahead of schedule at this time, the Auglaize County dog warden says.
In a meeting with Auglaize County commissioners this week, Dog Warden Russ Bailey said the roof is being started and is expected to take more than a week to complete. A natural gas line also was recently ran to the building located off Dearbaugh Avenue along U.S. 33 behind the Auglaize County Sheriff’s Office and to the back of the camping area at the Auglaize County Fairgrounds.
The commissioners walked through the site with Bailey this week as they checked out progress to the 2,700-square-foot building being constructed at a cost of approximately $428,000.
“I think it’s going to be really nice,” Bailey said, pointing out a puppy room, office and storage off of the main kennel area. “So far, knock on wood, everything is going according to plan.”
Heyne Construction, of Minster, which is doing the work, expected the clerestory to be a bit of a challenge and paneling, with its seaming, to be time consuming.
Commissioners said they were glad they decided to add an alternate clerestory roof structure with windows for approximately $4,000 when they accepted the bid for the project as they thought it added to the appearance of the building.
“It adds more natural lighting and architecturally looks like the law enforcement center,” Commissioner Doug Spencer said.
Plans also were made to add approximately $15,000 for technology at the building, including security cameras, computers, a printer and network rack, at the recommendation of county Computer Operations Manager Cameron Ruppert.
Plans are to be made to determine how those costs will be paid from the dog warden’s budget.
“There is a contingency built in, but we just don’t know how much yet,” Spencer said, explaining they wouldn’t know what about of the contingency may be left until closer to when the building is expected to open at the first of January. “I would like to get everything done when opening day occurs, so the office is totally turn key and functioning.
“Something like this, we don’t want to stop short of the finish line,” he said. “Opening day we want to be fully open for business.”
Other costs may be able to be paid from leftover funds in the dog warden’s budget this year or to be added to a total for the project, which is to be paid back in installments by the dog warden, Spencer said. A schedule for that has yet to be set.
“During budget hearings, we need to take a stab at that, but until all the bills are in, we don’t know what needs paid back,” Spencer said.
The unknown of potential monthly utility bills at the new facility is a concern for Bailey, but one that won’t be known until the building is up and operational.
“It will be an increase, obviously, but I think it will be manageable,” Spencer said.