by Kate Shunney
County officials have voted to move the Morgan County Animal Control operations to the west side of the old hospital and former 911 center. Animal control offices and kennels are currently east of Berkeley Springs along Martinsburg Road.
Animal Control workers have struggled with a failing water well at that location, tight quarters and a lack of room for a dog run at the kennels.
At their November 3 meeting, Morgan County Commissioners decided to proceed with a proposal to build a new metal building on land they own by the old 911 center along Fairfax Street closer to town.
Commissioner Bill Clark said he previously had a concern about that location and wanted to look at the neighborhood more closely.
“I was concerned about the physical location. We have a nice campus there that we’ve done a lot of work to,” he said of The Pines Opportunity Center nearby.
Blue Ridge Community and Technical College, the Morgan County Health Department and the Morgan County Day Report Center are all located at that center. A new Animal Control facility will be sited just down the hill from The Pines.
Clark questioned where a sewer line connection for new kennels and offices would be, and said an appropriate amount of money needs to be set aside for that connection.
An earlier proposal set the pricetag at $57,000 for a new Animal Control facility, but prices dated back nearly a year and didn’t include interior work, said county officials.
“I do believe we have a duty to get the rest of the estimates,” said commission President Joel Tuttle.
Those estimated would include finishing the interior of a metal building, electrical work, plumbing and landscaping.
“That will probably double the cost,” said Commissioner Clark.
Tuttle said the county would consider selling the existing Animal Control property to cover some costs.
In other county business, commissioners voted to re-appoint Bill Clark and Daryl Cowles to represent Morgan County on the Region 9 Planning & Development Council. Their terms will run through June 30, 2022. Clark recused himself on the vote about his own reappointment.