DAPHNE – The city of Daphne is moving forward with plans for a new animal shelter that will be one of the best in the state, but the facility will be expensive, Mayor Robin LeJeune said.
LeJeune said at a work session of the Daphne City Council that the new shelter will be a major investment for the city.
“Not to scare everybody, but it's going to be around between $4 million and $5 million for the new shelter, but that's doing it right,” LeJeune said. “That's not shying away from trying to do what we're supposed to do with these animals.”
He said the city is looking at funding sources, but he did not think that grants would be available.
“We were told that some of the Rescue Act money that we're getting in could possibly, it's kind of a stretch, we're still waiting to see what those parameters are, but legacy types of things were going be allowed, we're still waiting to see on that,” LeJeune said.
He said more information would be available in about two weeks.
The city will be seeking local donations for the shelter, but Daphne will not be looking for funding from the county or other cities.
“It is going to be a totally Daphne location,” LeJeune said. ““We're going to look at some donations. We have a lot of people in the community wanting to help out with this we're going to look at that and see what they can do to help out, but, like I said, you're not going to see a facility like this anywhere probably in the state.”
LeJeune said the new shelter will be constructed on the same site on Johnson Road, west of U.S. 98, where the current building is located. He said city officials looked at other property but decided that the existing site is the best location.
“We're going to go with the exact same location. It's flat, right off 98, so it's a great spot to put a facility like that,” LeJeune said.
He said the current shelter will continue to operate while the new building is constructed.
“The property is large enough where we will be able to build a new one while the old one is still constructed and then we'll tear it down once it's been built,” LeJeune said.
Daphne’s Dr. Albert Corte Animal Shelter takes in 800 to 1,000 animals a year. About one third are adopted, rescued or reclaimed, according to city reports.