MORRIS – A new truck, new dog cages and ventilation repairs will cost Grundy County Animal Control about $77,000 in coming months.
The money will come from the department’s pet population fund, which has about $88,000 available, according to an estimate by County Administrator Heidi Miller.
“That fund has been building up for a number of years,” Animal Control Director June Krull said. “We accumulated all of that money and now I’m so glad that we have it so we can use it for things like this.”
The Grundy County Education Committee agreed Monday to allow Krull to proceed with the three purchases.
The most expensive purchase will be for repairs to the building’s ventilation system, which is projected to cost about $37,500.
Post-construction problems have plagued the facility, built about two years ago. For months, a strong odor of feces and urine, as well as incredibly high humidity levels, have made the work environment uncomfortable for Krull and others.
Krull said it’s a problem for facility visitors because the smell is so intense.
“They think it’s not clean or something, but that’s not the case,” she said.
Precision Control Systems will complete the ventilation renovation in the coming months, which Krull is anxious for.
“When they came in and said they needed to put Vix under their noses to get through the building, we knew it was not conditions people should work in,” Education Committee member Ann Gill said during Monday’s meeting.
New animal cages
The chain-link dog cages were transferred from the old animal control facility into the current building and are upward of 10 years old, Krull estimated.
New cages will cost about $31,000, according to an estimate presented Monday to the Grundy County Education Committee.
Aside from warped metal and small holes, the cages no longer hold attached feeding bowls.
Krull said when a dog eats, the bowls often will fall out, leaving a gap where a dog’s head can become stuck.
“The dogs push them out and we’ve had them get their heads caught,” Krull said.
“They’re older cages. We’ve had them for years and this just needed to be done,” she added.
New truck transport
Also needed is a new truck to pick up animals throughout the county. The department’s current truck has racked up more than 185,000 miles and has a broken fuel pump.
“We patrol all of the towns so there is a lot of area covered every day,” Krull said.
The truck is estimated to cost about $21,000, but Krull said she budgeted about $12,500 for a new vehicle this year in anticipation.
The education committee also agreed to sell the old truck in the county’s surplus sale.