JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. - A budget boost from the local government has been a long time coming for the Washington County-Johnson City Animal Shelter. Fundraising has been going on for more than a decade.
"We've been trying to build a new facility for 12 years. It's has really come down to the wire in the past two years," said Debbie Dobbs, Animal Shelter Director.
We learned Washington County offered the shelter $350,000 total if they raised a million dollars to go toward the new facility. However, even with all the fundraising they were still coming up short, until Johnson City decided to step in.
"What the city did was agree to build up to $1.5 million at the animal shelter that should get to replace the very aged facility they're currently operating out of," said Pete Peterson, Johnson City Manager.
We learned that by Johnson City giving the money to the animal shelter it not only helps the shelter move, but it also gives the land to the city so they can build a road that will lead to new development. "With a grant from TDOT, they will soon hopefully begin road construction of a roadway from West Market Street over to State of Franklin through the middle of the property," said Peterson.
Guy Wilson, CEO of Pro Compounding Pharmacy in Johnson City, says the road will help his business by giving his pharmacy better traffic flow.
Another organization is still in the path of the road, the Boys and Girls Club. They hope they city will also help them relocate as they did the animal shelter. "It would be a great opportunity for our community to start looking at something bigger and better and plan for the future for our kids," said Robin Crumley, Executive Director of Boys and Girls Club.
The city is still considering options for the Boys and Girls Club.
Meanwhile, the money given to the shelter will pay a large portion of the construction costs but fundraising efforts are still underway to cover the rest.