By Adam Poulisse
Posted Jan. 10, 2016 at 7:00 AM
Updated at 8:23 PM
BELVIDERE — The new Boone County Animal Services building is expected to be completed by August, but it could happen sooner if weather permits.
Rockford Structures of Machesney Park will oversee the project. The company submitted the lowest of five bids, which were received since Dec. 2.
The building, which will be behind Heritage Woods of Belvidere off Squaw Prairie Road and McKinley Avenue, will cost about $1 million. That will cover the building, architect fees, water and sewer connections, furniture, equipment and a parking lot.
"Everything else is falling into place," County Administrator Ken Terrinoni said during Thursday's Health & Human Services Committee meeting. "They're out there staking the property. Now the weather's caught up to them, however."
Rockford Structures has a tentative mid-March groundbreaking date, or sooner if the ground thaws. It will accompany a groundbreaking ceremony.
In November 2014, 63 percent of voters approved a referendum to raise $800,000 through a property tax increase to pay for the building. The increase will last three years.
"This is a big thing for our county," committee member Cathy Ward said. "We've worked at this for years."
Funds are about $250,000 short. A $5 add-on dog tag fee, which started about two years ago, only generated $70,000 a year. The general fund will cover the difference, then the dog tag fee will repay the general fund over time, Terrinoni said.
The Animal Services building on Appleton Road is likely to be sold; the county hopes to get close to the original purchase price of $650,000, Terrinoni said. It's only 1,200 square feet; the new building will be about double that.
"It gives more working room," said Roger Tresemer, Boone County Animal Services operations supervisor. "This is a better housing area for the dogs and other animals we keep. It's much easier to sanitize, better ventilation, and it will be (a) better working environment for our staff."
In November, Animal Services received 20 dogs, three cats, a domesticated rabbit and one raccoon, according to a report Tresemer gave at Thursday's meeting. Twelve of the dogs were reclaimed, two were adopted, one was sent to rescue and four were euthanized. One dog is in a foster home. One of the cats was reclaimed and the other two were euthanized "for humane purposes due to health."
Adam Poulisse: 815-987-1344