It is time to fast-track the animal shelter project

Published 7:46 pm Friday, October 25, 2019

This week we learned the city of Vicksburg has focused its search for property for a new animal shelter on two sites. It is a welcomed development for a project that has long been needed. Now that the city has set aside money in the budget for the project, and property is being evaluated, we hope the project can move ahead quickly.

Under North Ward Alderman Michael Mayfield Jr., who oversees the city’s public works department and the animal shelter, the site search has been narrowed to two locations — one in the Mission 66 area and the other on Sky Farm Avenue.

The Sky Farm Avenue site is 2 acres of city-owned property on the southwest corner of Cedar Hill Cemetery. The other site is off Mission 66 and has a 7,000 square-foot building officials believe can be adapted into an animal shelter. The Mission 66 property is not owned by the city and would have to be purchased.

During a presentation to the Port City Kiwanis Club Thursday, Vicksburg Animal Control director Kacie Lindsey said the present shelter on Old Mill Road near Waltersville Estates is too small, is in a flood zone and needs to be more centrally located.

Of the two sites discussed by Mayfield in Friday’s story in The Vicksburg Post, it appears the Sky Farm property makes the most sense. Not only is the site already owned by the city, but it would give city officials the chance to build the shelter that is needed, rather than having to adapt an existing building.

We have long supported the efforts of the animal shelter and the Vicksburg Warren Humane Society. Their work is not just a service to the public, but a calling to the animals who are taken into their care.

The existing animal shelter no longer meets today’s needs and money spent on updating the existing facility would not be well spent.

We hope the city will complete its review of sites quickly and move to the design phase of this project. It is time to get this project off the “to-do list.” Our animal control personnel have made the existing facility work, but it is time they get the facility they deserve.