News 12 at 11 o'clock / Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2013
EDGEFIELD COUNTY, S.C. (WRDW) -- Right now, every animal that needs a shelter in Edgefield County goes to Aiken County's shelter, but soon, that will change.
The Edgefield County Council met Tuesday night to tour potential sites for the shelter. News 12 went along to take a look at the options.
"We've been so long without it, I'm happy that it's happening. I'm happy that we're taking the first steps," said council member Rodney Ashcroft.
He's been an Edgefield County Council member for more than four years and says the need for an animal shelter is obvious.
"The numbers are scary. I never knew this until I got on council," he said.
In July, Edgefield County had 147 animals come in, but without a shelter, each one was sent to Aiken's shelter for a fee.
"The fees for Aiken are going up, so we're bringing the operations home," said Ashcroft.
They're hoping that having their own shelter will help.
"For over a year now we've been planning, we've been doing a lot of work in the background," he said.
They began planning in late 2011, and Tuesday night, they hit the road to figure out where to put it. Council members visited six different locations, looking at the pros and cons of each place.
"You can look at pictures, but to go out there and literally kind of kick the tires of locations, it really gives you a sense for how big is the property, how close are the houses," said Council Chairman Dean Campbell.
They're also considering water and sewer systems and what's underneath the ground. One of the locations had part of an old graveyard, another a landfill.
"What we were trying to ascertain was first is it a place you can even build something," said Campbell.
But neighbors are a big consideration too after receiving multiple complaints at past council meetings.
"We don't want to be intrusive at all," said Ashcroft. "We'd like to stay out of sight; we'd like to blend in so when we're there people don't notice a difference."
They're planning for the shelter to be around 2,000 square feet.
On Tuesday night, they were pretty much able to narrow it down from six locations to three locations, but no vote or action was taken. Next week, they will officially narrow it down and then they are hoping to take a final vote at the October council meeting.
The six locations they visited Tuesday were:
- Highway 378 across from landfill location
- Old "Chain Gang" location on Highway 25 North
- Manor House on Highway 25 North
- County property located on Simmons Road
- County property adjacent to EMS building on Star Road
- County shop on Weaver Road