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Pike offered $225,000 for animal shelter

By Rachel McDaniel news@pikecountygeorgia.com Pike commissioners discussed an offer of at least $225,000 from longtime citizen Walker Chandler for the county to use for an animal shelter. The funds would be donated from the CLC Foundation which was established by Dr. C.L. Chandler Jr. and is controlled by his living children and step-children, including Walker Chandler. ’Animals are near and dear not just to me and my wife but also to our friends and sons. This is something that needs to be done and it needs to be done the right way,’ said Chandler. Commissioners noted that the offer was a great opportunity for the county. Commission chairman Briar Johnson noted that several years ago, the state required each county to have an animal control officer and one had to be hired and trained. ’I’m sure our state government is on its way to requiring that we have some sort of animal control facility as well,’ he said. ‘This does need to be done and a facility would be something we can use 20 years down the road and grow into.’ County manager Bobby Bickley noted that he visited animal control facilities in Upson and Lamar with annual costs of $200,000 to $400,000. He said Pike County is currently paying $70,000 a year to handle only cases involving dangerous and visious dogs. In a letter issued to commissioners, Chandler outlined stipulations to be agreed upon and stated that the funds could be used for new construction or substantial renovations of existing facilities to be used as an animal shelter for at least the next 20 years. It was noted that prices and quotes to build the facility and other information will be gathered and reviewed by commissioners at upcoming meetings. ’In establishing the Foundation, Dr. Chandler expressly provided that the foundation could support animal-care organizations. In making any and all gifts and donations, each board member is charged with the fiduciary responsibility of making sure the foundations’ gift is not wasted, misspent or otherwise misused intentionally or unintentionally.’ ’I must make as sure as I can that any contribution made at my direction will result in a substantial facility that is well-run and does not fall into neglect, ruin and disuse, nor be the subject of personal gain or back-door politics,’ read the letter from Chandler, in part. The stipulations for the donation were that the county first form an animal control board under O.C.G.A. 4-8-22 consisting of unpaid members representing the veterinary community, the county, municipalities and non-profit animal welfare organizations active in Pike. The county must have an initial comprehensive plan drawn up and presented to Chandler by Oct. 15 with the land and architectural plans for the proposed facility as well as the ownership, operations and control issues relating to the facility. The letter suggests the current property on County Farm Road is expanded and fence with proper sewer and other connections. ’I realize the total cost of such a facility could be much more than the $225,000 to be donated; therefore a plan for making up any balance needs to be addressed,’ the letter stipulates. ‘I am aware that the shelter will in all probability need to be one that allows euthanasia and therefore will not set that it be a designated ‘˜no-kill’ shelter. The shelter will, of course, be expected to be one where adoptions are facilitated.’ No less than $225,000 would be contributed by the CLC Foundation on or before Dec. 31 if the stipulations are met. In the past, one of the foundation’s major gifts went to Zoo Atlanta and resulted in a portion of new construction being named after Winnie Jones Chandler, Dr. Chandler’s second wife and the mother of three of the foundation’s board members. The Foundation authorizes a board member to be chosen by sequential rotation to make a major gift substantially equal to half of the entire annual donations of the foundation as determined by its accountants and portfolio managers. Pike County’s long time resident Walker Chandler is the board member chosen for the upcoming major charitable gift. The county also: ’¢ Approved closure of Twin Oaks Road from the intersection of County Farm Road to north of the soccer complex entrance on Saturday, June 29 from 2 to 11 p.m. for the 2019 Pride of Pike Independence Day Celebration. ’¢ Approved Driver and Adams as the low bid to provide external audit services for the county’s annual audit report. They were the low bid at $36,880 per year. ’¢ Approved a request to purchase a 2007 Chevrolet 3500 Crew Cab truck for the road department for a total of $8,500 from road department impact fees. It was noted that the truck already has a work body which would cost $5,000 to $6,000 if it had to be added. ’¢ Appointed former county manager John Hanson to the West Georgia Region 4 EMS Council to fill an unexpired two year term set to expire June 30, 2020. ’¢ Appointed Charles Duff to the Pike County Water and Sewer Authority board to fill an unexpired term set to expire Dec. 31, 2022. ’¢ Approved a $1,157 tax refund application from Matthew Westbrook who is a 100% disabled veteran, combat related.

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