Construction underway on new Faulkner Co. Animal Shelter, set to open fall of 2024

Construction underway on new Faulkner Co. Animal Shelter, set to open fall of 2024

GREENBRIER, Ark.- After years of a voluntary tax from Faulkner County residents, the Faulkner County Animal Shelter is now in its construction phase.

“The concept of this animal shelter goes all the way back to before 2005,” Faulkner County Administrator Randy Higgins said.

The quorum court at the time passed an ordinance that started a voluntary tax where people could voluntarily check the box to give a percentage when paying their personal or real estate property tax. 

“We know at least that far back that there were concerns that we had an animal issue in Faulkner County, and especially now with all the growth that we’ve experienced,” Higgins said.

Higgins started on the quorum court in 2011, watching the voluntary tax grow.

“We finally got one million and it was like, ‘We got a lot of money here, can we start the project?’ That’s when we started looking at what we can do,” Higgins said. 

They determined that the amount could pay for the shelter but not the operation after the build. They knew they needed more money, which became the next obstacle over the past few years.

“We initially reached the point we were approaching two million dollars in the voluntary tax, and so we hired a consultant to help us determine the size that we needed, the growth opportunities, and all the demographics,” Higgins said. 

At the same time, while working with the consultant, they found a piece of land. A flea market looking to sell sitting on four acres. 

The quorum court approved the $400,000 purchase of the building and land and began doing in-and-out jobs on the land. 

That is when the American Rescue Plan Funds became available, and Faulkner County Judge Allen Dodson began working to achieve some of those funds. 

Faulkner County Quorum Court then acquired the funds and approved a new plan.

“We would use American Rescue Plan Funds to remodel this facility just under 1.2 million,” Higgins said. “The benefit to us was that the money collected all these years to build the shelter is now assigned to operate the shelter minus what we paid for the building.”

Higgins said it was a big win for them to kickstart the shelter construction and operation. 

“The excitement for as far as actually being able to start the project and getting off the ground has been tremendous,” Higgins said. 

The construction will take about 180 days and is already two months in.

“I spoke with the contractor and we’re on time right now, on schedule, so that’s good news,” Higgins said.

The anticipation of the doors opening this fall with excitement from the community, the quorum court, and law enforcement. 

“Initially, the shelter is going to be supporting law enforcement and Faulkner County as they respond to animal calls,” Higgins said.

Last month, the Faulkner County Sheriff’s Department received over 80 animal calls and had to respond with limited resources. 

“This will be a huge tool for them to be able to properly handle animals; right now, they can only write citations,” Higgins said. 

Construction underway on new Faulkner Co. Animal Shelter, set to open fall of 2024

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to top