New Saginaw County Animal Control site gets final approval

Published: Oct. 14, 2020 at 10:57 PM EDT
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SAGINAW COUNTY, Mich. (WJRT) - The site plan for a long-awaited Saginaw County Animal Care and Control shelter received final approval this week.

The project, which has been in planning since voters approved an $11.4 million millage for the facility two years ago, took a massive step forward. The new facility will be located on property the county owns in Kochville Township.

It may not look like much more than tall grass and open fields now, but soon enough a vacant Kochville Township lot will see a transformation.

Saginaw County Animal Care and Control Director Bonnie Kanicki showed off an artist’s rendering of what she hopes the not-too-distant future of her agency might look like Wednesday, now that their plans are that much closer to stepping off the poster board and into real life.

“Monday night, the design team presented the plan,” she said. “The board unanimously approved the site and gave us a wonderful welcome to Kochville Township.”

It marks the latest step in a two year odyssey to finalize plans for the proposed $11.4 million facility since voters approved the agency’s millage request in 2018.

“It’s about time. Let’s get it going and when’s it going to be done,” said Kanicki, relaying some of the feedback she recently received.

Saginaw County Animal Care and Control has been housed in a converted pharmacy on Gratiot Road, which has been closed to the public and open by appointment only. The aging facility stands in stark contrast to the clean lines and contemporary look of the planned Resource Center on Bay Road in Kochville Township.

The new facility includes innovations for the shelter’s furry friends, including dog runs and an on-site surgical clinic.

“Now, if a stray comes in with kennel cough, it’s an illness that will shut our facility down for adoption,” Kanicki said. “In our new facility, the ventilation system is state of the art.”

She said the plans put an added emphasis on safety for both humans and animals.

“It’s very clean and sterile and very accommodating for us to make sure the animals that are here… it will be comfortable for them,” Kanicki said.

The design next will be finalized, opening up the bidding process and enabling planners to cement the final budget, which will go before the Saginaw County Commission in January of 2021. Groundbreaking could happen as early as next spring.

Copyright 2020 WJRT. All rights reserved.

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