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Dogs and cats at the county’s animal shelter received an early Christmas present this year — one that will keep them warm this winter and cool next summer.
Judge-Executive John Wayne Conway announced last Tuesday that the county has received a $55,000 grant from the state’s department of agriculture to make improvements to its animal shelter, including providing heat and air conditioning for animals housed there.
“We’re going to enclose the open portion of the shelter,” Conway said, adding that the enclosure will also make cleaning the area easier in the winter because feces and urine will no longer be frozen.
Conway said other improvements will be to replace worn-out cages and other upgrades.
“We’re trying to make it a better place,” he said.
Conway said animal control officer Jason Chesser deserves the credit for securing the grant, adding that it is the first Anderson County has received in recent memory.
Work on the facility will start soon, Conway said, and a pair of bids have already been awarded.
“We applied for $85,000 and got $55,000, so we are trying to get the biggest bang for our buck,” he said.
Alabama clay finally OK’d;
batting cages possible
After some eye-rolling and comments from magistrates that didn’t sit well with Conway, the fiscal court on Monday agreed to have Alabama clay installed on ball fields at the county park.
The clay debate carried over the from the fiscal court’s meeting last Tuesday, during which the issue was tabled while Conway gathered technical data on the clay.
Magistrates didn’t object when $25,000 was added to the current budget earlier this year to purchase the clay, which according to Conway will make the fields better suited for tournaments and bring teams in from around the region.
While discussing the clay, which was already sitting in a parking lot in the county park, Conway fielded questions from magistrates over its durability and how exactly it was going to be installed.
At one point he stopped and asked a question of Magistrate Buddy Sims.
“I see you’re rolling your eyes, Magistrate Sims,” Conway said. “Is something on your mind?”
Sims questioned if a contract was in place with the company that provided the clay, which prompted Conway to request the issue be tabled.
It was, and when the fiscal court met Monday, Conway said the clay was approved but not by Magistrate Kenny Barnett.
“He asked it I had considered Hoosier clay,” Conway said. “We’ve been talking about this since January, so I said no, I haven’t.”
Along with new surfaces, the ball parks could also soon be getting batting cages.
Conway said the fiscal court’s parks and recreation committee is discussing raising funds for two batting cages, which would be installed in the corner of the parking lot near the fields.
“That was Magistrate Forrest Dale Stevens’ idea,” Conway said. “That way we won’t have to pour concrete.”
Conway said the committee is still working to determine prices and are considering fundraisers to pay for the cages.
Higher bid awarded for T-shirts
Magistrates voted unanimously last Tuesday to award a bid for youth basketball T-shirts to a local company despite a lower bid from one in Indiana.
Conway said the county generally accepts the lowest bids, but opted this time to award it to Splatter Inc.
“It’s local and we know we can get problems fixed if anything comes up,” said Conway.