CANTON: The Stark County commissioners Wednesday approved bid specifications for renovations to the county dog pound.

Dog Warden Jon Barber plans to install a ventilation system to help prevent the dogs from getting sick, to reconfigure the kennel area to give them a better living environment with new kennels and to expand the veterinarian’s area.

The county’s architect Sol Harris/Day estimates the cost at $665,000. County Administrator Brant Luther said the cost is about $180,000 higher than anticipated because of the increased cost of labor and materials.

Buying 10 new kennels for large dogs and installing a new ventilation system will cost more than expected, and the architect found poor soil under part of the facility that will have to be addressed.

To attract bids from contractors who are increasingly in demand, the county will allow for five months to finish an expected four months of work.

Luther expects the contract to be awarded by August, and the work to be done by January.

The dogs will be kept in the former dog warden kennel area in the back of the current facility during construction, Barber said.

The county hopes to raise $150,000 to $200,000 of the cost from private donations and has pledged to match donations dollar for dollar.

It’s already received about $35,000 in donations.

About $300,000 would come from the county’s permanent improvement fund and the rest would come from the dog and kennel fund, which is funded by dog license fees.