|At Monday's commission
meeting, the Loudon County Commission once again extended the
contract with Blount County to continue to accept and house
Blount county stray and abandoned animals. The lone dissenting
vote came from Commissioner Earlena Maples who once again
brought to the commission's attention what a great deal Blount
County is getting at the cost of Loudon County tax payers.
The Loudon County Animal Shelter's budget has
gone up nearly 70% since it began taking the Blount County
animals. This vote extended the contract till Blount County
builds a new shelter of their own which could mean Loudon County
will be picking up the tab for Blount County indefinitely.
Loudon County expected to renew deal for Blount
By Joel Davis
of The Daily Times Staff
Loudon County Mayor Doyle Arp expects his County Commission to
renew an agreement to accept Blount County stray animals during a
special called meeting Monday.
Blount County is currently relying on the Loudon County Animal Shelter
to house homeless and abandoned animals at a cost of $4,000 per month.
Technically, the agreement runs out Monday, but Arp said he expects the
Loudon County Commission to act soon.
“Yes,” Arp said during a telephone interview on Tuesday. That was the
general talk (at a June 16 work session). It’s on the agenda for
commission approval next Monday night. We moved the July meeting .. (to
June) 30th to accommodate some budget changes ... We just put that on
the agenda, too, so we’re going to get it all done together.”
The Blount County Commission last Thursday approved the appropriation of
$430,000 to begin construction of a new animal shelter. County Finance
Director Dave Bennett said that once the contract with Carico
Construction Inc. of Louisville is signed, work will start as soon as
“I would say by mid-July at latest we’ll see construction start on the
part we’re going to be able to do,” Bennett said.
The county expects the initial $430,000 to fund the construction of
kennels and the shell of the facility.
“That way we can relieve our friends in Loudon county from the contract
they’ve been so gracious to allow us to have,” Bennett said.
Arp said his commission will consider extending the agreement another
six months. “Blount County takes care of our prisoners when we get
overcrowded, so maybe we can help with the animal situation,” he said.
Loudon County is charging just enough to break even, Arp said. “We’re
not making any amount of money off of it, but we’re not losing any
money,” he said.
The estimated cost to build the animal shelter as designed is $1.6
million. The $430,000, which includes $80,000 in funds raised by the
Smoky Mountain Animal Care Foundation and $350,000 in seed money that
the commission authorized in 2007, will only allow the core of the
facility to be built.
The new shelter is being built on a 12-acre site located behind the Boys
and Girls Club, 241 Currie Ave., in Maryville. On April 19, 2007, the
Blount County Commission authorized spending $350,000 in seed money for
an animal shelter. The commission approved the floating of a short-term
loan from the county debt service fund balance to pay for the project.
Animal control has been a subject of controversy since the previous
County Commission declined to continue funding a contract with the city
of Maryville for animal control services. That contract expired Dec. 31,