In Fiscal 2017, the Board of County Supervisors established the priority need for improvements at the new Prince William County Animal Shelter after the dated HVAC system placed animals at risk for airborne disease. The Board of County Supervisors funded the necessary enhancements to the HVAC system, which has since been replaced. They also appropriated $1.0 million for staff to develop options for Board consideration on animal shelter facility improvements.
"The animal shelter is aging and in desperate need of replacement," said Board Chairman Corey Stewart. "When we bring an animal into the shelter, we are responsible for their care. We cannot risk the lives of the animals we are trying to rescue because we don't have a proper facility."
Due to the unique needs of an animal shelter, County staff is gathering requirements and working with outside consultants who have expertise in this area to present the Board with options for how to move forward with this project. The Board also directed its internal auditor to audit current animal shelter operations. Staff will incorporate any facility-specific audit findings into its recommendations.
Staff will bring forward animal shelter improvement options to the Board this summer, and then move forward with final architectural and engineering designs in Fiscal 2018. Costs will be funded through the remaining $1.0 million previously appropriated in Fiscal 2017. Once the design phase is complete, staff will advertise and select a contractor for construction of the improvements. Finally, the County will sell the necessary debt to finance project construction. Annual debt service and operating costs for the animal shelter improvement project are already programmed in the adopted Fiscal Year 2018-2022 Five-Year Plan.
"For many of the Board members, this project is a top-priority for new county capital construction," noted Stewart. "The anticipated operational and debt service projections are included in the adopted Five Year Plan, and we are making certain we do this right. That means building the right type of facility for current and future demands at the best cost to the taxpayers."