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Florence moving forward with animal shelter project

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FLORENCE, Ala -- It’s been four years in the making, and the city of Florence is drawing closer to building a new animal shelter. According to the city’s mayor, the project could be going out to bid in the coming weeks.

An overgrown lot in Florence’s industrial park will be the home of a new animal shelter.

Mayor Steve Holt inherited the project when he took office last year. He knew then what he saw on paper wouldn’t work for the city.

“The architect had to start from scratch,” explained Holt. “We made a lot of changes on it, and she has a really good grasp of what we wanted and what we asked for. She’s made those changes.”

Florence Mayor Steve Holt

Holt’s keyword for the shelter is functional. It’s a $3-million project that when finished should last 30-years.

What Holt is seeing on paper now is quadruple the size of the current facility. A much better fit for the future.

“We want functional; we want cost-effective, so we removed the big lobby. We removed some of the other amenities that were there. We’ve increased the number of animal cages and we’ve increased the number of dog runs on the outside perimeter,” said Holt.

City leaders said the project should go out for bid in early August. If that’s the case, construction could be completed by the fall of 2018.

In 2013, the city of Florence set aside $2-million for the animal shelter project. The Lauderdale County Commission is also contributing $1-million to the project.