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Shelter process taking shape
Panel focuses on timeline
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Forsyth County News

A Forsyth County-owned animal shelter became a future reality when voters approved the 1-cent sales tax referendum Nov. 8.

The animal control and shelter committee met Monday to discuss how to move forward with building the facility.

Donna Kukarola, the county’s procurement director, briefed the group on how the process of hiring an architect and contractor will work.

In 2009, the county sought proposals for a combined design and construction bid. That option would have gotten the shelter built the quickest but with less selection, Kukarola said.

The county ultimately did not accept any of those proposals, and rather formed the committee to study the issue in early 2011.

"This time I think we talked about the more traditional approach of design, bid and then build," she said.

The county will first choose an architect that meets the required qualifications, which Kukarola suggested should include previous experience in designing an animal shelter.

Once the design is complete and construction documents prepared, a traditional proposal with the required experience would be released, she said.

Two members of the shelter panel, who have not been determined, will serve on a selection committee.

After a funding source is identified, Kukarola estimated it would be about six to eight months before the bids would go before the commission for approval. Actual work likely could get started one to two months after that.

Committee chairman John McGruder, who served on the selection committee for the 2009 proposals, said the time spent picking the right firms for the job would be well spent.

"We’re far better off to do it systematically than to do it in a hurry," McGruder said. "Then we’d just pay for it on the other end."

The group does plan to get started quickly, he said, as was committed to the public prior to the vote to extend the special local option sales tax, or SPLOST.

Revenue from the next round of the tax won’t start being collected until June 2013, but the committee plans to review some advanced funding options at its next meeting Dec. 6.

It also plans to begin formulating a mission statement for the planned facility.