Saginaw County officials looking to move animal shelter to a different location

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SAGINAW (WJRT) (2/12/2019) - More controversy is brewing in Saginaw as county officials look to move the new purposed Animal Shelter to a new location.

This change is after voters narrowly passed a millage that would keep the shelter at its original location.

The county board met Tuesday night to discuss to move the Saginaw County Animal Shelter building out of the city of Saginaw.

The interim director says the building location has many issues, including how close they are to a main road.

“You've got about this much space between a heavily trafficked street and where your dog is walking,” Saginaw County Animal Control interim director Michelle Sawyer said.

At the meeting, Sawyer pleaded her case to move the more than $11 million facility somewhere else.

"Inside the building is absolutely insufficient for our needs," Sawyer said.

Voters barely passed the new millage on the idea they would have a state of the art shelter that would stay at the current spot on Gratiot Avenue.

Saginaw County Controller Robert Belleman says that has changed and now are looking all around the county for a spot that's going to fit their needs best.

"I say we have one bite at the apple, wherever we go, and however we built it, we are going to live with the next 20 years minimally. So, we got to make sure it's right,” Belleman said.

The controller said he's still open to keeping the shelter within city limits and maybe even working out a deal on a property.

"Are there any other services the city can provide the county to reduce the cost of building a new facility. And to give taxpayers a reduce millage moving forward,” Belleman said.

As the county looks over locations, close to 100 dogs and cats sit inside kennels in a building that once housed a pharmacy.

"So, the current location everybody agrees is not suitable,” Belleman said.

Belleman says they're hoping to have a site selected within 60 days.

Then once that is approved allow for contractors to bid on the construction sometime later this year.