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Animal shelter needs new site?
Hartselle expresses concerns over plan

By Sheryl Marsh
smarsh@decaturdaily.com · 340-2437

The Morgan County Commission may have to look beyond Hartselle for land to put an animal shelter and a facility for environmental services that would include a garbage transfer station.

Hartselle officials are concerned that an animal shelter and environmental services building at Hartselle-Morgan County Industrial Park might pose a threat to federal funding that the city obtained for infrastructure.

The commission plans to start interviewing architectural firms within two weeks and then choose one to design the facilities, according to Chairman John Glasscock.

Glasscock said at a meeting last month that he wants to put the facilities on 13 acres in the industrial park on Thompson Road.

Hartselle Mayor Dwight Tankersley said he has talked with Glasscock about concerns that he and city councilmen have.

“I don’t know how that would impact using that property for anything besides a new industry or expansion of an existing industry,” said Tankersley. “The chairman has talked to me about it, and I’ve expressed to him that part of the property he’s talking about has a federal grant to help provide infrastructure to it. Some of the council members asked me about it, and they have the same concerns that I have.”

The county and Hartselle are joint owners of the property and Glasscock said there would be no dispute over it.

‘Several options’

“We’ve got several options,” said Glasscock. “We’re not going to get in a fight with them over the land.”

Glasscock would not disclose the options. District 1 Commissioner and Chairman Pro Tem Jeff Clark said options have been discussed.

“There’s been several sites discussed,” said Clark. “One was at the District 2 shop, maybe putting environmental there. We haven’t decided anything yet.”

Clark said he would not want to hurt federal funding for Hartselle.

“If that’s the case, we’ll continue to look because we do need a new animal shelter,” Clark said.

Glasscock said he’s not moving too soon by interviewing architects.

“It’s not too early,” said Glasscock. “We know we’re going to do it, and we’re going to put it somewhere.”

Glasscock said he plans to talk with Tankersley this week.

Because of the co-ownership of the industrial park property, each of the governing bodies must give approval for sale or use of the land. Tankersley said if the commission makes a request, he would put the matter before the council for a vote.

Glasscock said the new environmental services building would probably include a garbage transfer station.

District 4 Commissioner Stacy George said for that reason the public needs to get involved.

“I would like to have a public hearing on it before we do anything,” said George. “We need to let the people know up front what it is and where it’s going to be.”

About six years ago, public outcry stopped a commission attempt to place a garbage transfer station at a rural location that was once home to a dairy farm.

An attempt by the previous administration to locate one in Priceville also failed.

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