Representative Tom Taylor, second to the right, and members of the community tour the Farmington Regional Animal Shelter on Friday, June 14, 2013, in Farmington. (Jon Austria/The Daily Times)
At right, General Services Director for the City of Farmington, Julie Baird answers questions for, from left, Tonya Stinson, Kerwin Gober and State Rep. Tom Taylor after a tour, Friday, June 14, 2013, of the Farmington Regional Animal Shelter in Farmington.
(Jon Austria/The Daily Times)
- Jan 10:
- Farmington Regional Animal Shelter holds grand opening, ribbon cutting ceremony
- Oct 23:
- Farmington Regional Animal Shelter prepares to open next month
- Oct 22:
- City council approves new guidelines for animal shelter
- Farmington announces new executive director of regional animal shelter
- Jul 30:
- Local veterinarians, animal welfare advocates say teamwork a necessity on spay/neuter, animal welfare initiatives
- Jul 28:
- Farmington, San Juan County governments look at spay/neuter initiatives
- Jul 24:
- Farmington Animal Shelter scales back animal control in wake of cat, dog influx
- Jul 23:
- Farmington City Council discusses animal shelter plans, future
- Jul 21:
- Farmington City Council to discuss animal shelter conditions, plan for future
- Jul 16:
- Farmington Animal Services Advisory Commissioners discuss shelter operations, progress
- Jul 11:
- Farmington Animal Shelter at capacity, understaffed as officials search for a humane solution
- Jun 26:
- Animal shelter controversy continues at Farmington City Council amid funding, staffing concerns
- Jun 23:
- Farmington City Council to consider crematory at animal shelter, discuss project progress
- Jun 5:
- San Juan County agrees to pay more for regional animal shelter
- May 29:
- Farmington City Council approves animal shelter consultant
- May 15:
- Farmington Animal Shelter's first adoption special a success
- May 6:
- Farmington Animal Shelter to hold cat, kitten adoption special
- Apr 23:
- Water, electric utility hookups left out of Farmington Animal Shelter budget
- Apr 12:
- Farmington Animal Shelter seeks volunteers and foster homes
- Feb 14:
- San Juan County, city officials and animal rights workers celebrate new animal shelter
- Jan 10:
- Farmington animal shelter presentation receives high praise, funding uncertain
- Jan 7:
- City Council to hear animal shelter improvement suggestions
- Nov 28:
- City Council approves construction on long-anticiapted animal shelter
- Nov 26:
- Farmington council approaches animal shelter decision
- Jul 16:
- Farmington Animal Shelter aims to find balance
- Jul 11:
- New Regional Animal Shelter plans unveiled
- Jul 8:
- Final public meeting for Farmington's animal shelter plans to be held Tuesday
- Jun 8:
- Farmington officials and residents plan new animal shelter
- Apr 4:
- Farmington chooses BDA Architecture for new animal shelter
- Mar 30:
- Farmington Animal Shelter has new, enthusiastic director
FARMINGTON — The long-awaited Farmington Regional Animal Shelter could be finished by September.
That news was greeted with smiles and sighs of relief from local officials and animal rights advocates who toured the facility's active construction site Friday afternoon. The end to the long and winding road to a modern animal shelter is finally in sight.
"It's a landmark thing to get this project going," said Rep. Tom Taylor, R-Farmington. "We've been crammed in an old facility for so long. I think this is a great location for it."
Julie Baird, the city's general services director, took the 30-person group on a tour of the facility. Although the plywood and cinder blocks still stand bare, for many in attendance, finally seeing the building layout provided a renewed sense of vision and purpose.
"It's excellent to see the physical footprint," said Mayor Tommy Roberts. "Up until now it's been more of a mental image for me. When you see the layout on the ground, you get an appreciation of the functionality of the facility."
Taking the $4.6 million project from start to finish was never an easy task, complicated recently by roughly $300,000 in increased operational costs.
San Juan County Commissioners voted earlier this month to approve $350,000 in funding for the new shelter's operations, a 30-percent increase over their previous funding level, according to a Daily Times article published online on June 5.
The increased operations costs were due to implementing a lower euthanasia rate and hiring six, full-time kennel technicians.
Although the cost increase alarmed San Juan County CEO Kim Carpenter at first, he said the situation overall seemed to be well managed.
"There's obviously progress, but we still have a long way to go," Carpenter said on Friday. " Overall, the costs seem to be contained."
For Carpenter, however, the new facility is only part of the solution.
"Just a facility is not the answer," he said. "Right now in the county, (animal control) is the largest inflationary cost in our budget."
The county is projected to spend more than $800,000 on animal control alone, Carpenter said.
County officials are considering a county-wide ordinance requiring pet owners to spay or neuter their animals, and are attempting to start a dialogue with Navajo Nation officials to begin stemming the influx of stray and sick animals into area shelters, he said.
For now, city officials are celebrating the animal shelter project's accomplishments.
"I think this is just a great opportunity," said Cory Styron, Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs department director. "We had a lot of people that came together and gave funds. Now they get to see (the progress)."
Members of the community tour the new Farmington Regional Animal Shelter, Friday, June 14, 2013, in Farmington.
(Jon Austria/The Daily Times)
Greg Yee covers government for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4606 and firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him @GYeeDT on Twitter.