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Summit comes closer to new animal shelter

By jim Published: April 21, 2009

By Rick Armon
Beacon Journal staff writer

Summit County is moving forward with plans to build its new, environmentally friendly animal shelter.

The County Council's Planning and Economic Development Committee tonight approved advertising for bids to renovate a former Akron warehouse into an animal control facility.

The project is estimated at $2.46 million.

The new 26,000-square-foot shelter — on Opportunity Parkway just southwest of downtown Akron — could be open in 15 months, said Craig Stanley, county director of administrative services.

The county bought the building and 3.7 acres last year for $1.06 million.

Stanley said the county sought plenty of input from animal advocacy groups when designing the facility — a move that received praise from council members.

''There was a time when the animal advocacy groups were at loggerheads,'' Councilman Pete Crossland said.

The facility will be larger than the current cramped one, and provide more space for animals, Stanley said. It will include a clinic and more cages for cats. There will be fewer cages for dogs, though; about 86 compared with the current 100.

The council also received an update by architects DLZ on plans to have the new building be Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certified. For example, the building will be energy efficient and use less water, they said.

Animal Control is now on North Street in Akron. Officials have been looking for a new site since a 2004 National Animal Control Association audit found numerous animal welfare problems at the facility and recommended a new shelter.

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Rick Armon can be reached at 330-996-3569 or rarmon@thebeaconjournal.com.

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