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Williston may be home to new animal shelter

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By Carolyn Ten Broeck, Editor

The city of Williston inched closer to getting a new animal shelter Tuesday night when council members agreed to help fund plans for a facility near the municipal airport.

Bob Levesque, president of the Levy Animal Friends, Inc. (LeAF), with about a dozen supporters from that agency and the Williston Animal Group (WAG) came to the city council meeting and outlined plans for a new shelter that would be located on seven acres near the current WAG site.

Utilizing several photos from the city's current shelter, Levesque said he would call the operation "less than adequate" and leave it at that.

LeAF proposed the city designate the property for long term use and agree to a two-year lease while the shelter is being built.

LeAF also asked for prep work and soil testing at the site, as well as requesting half the funds needed to complete the plans.

The proposed shelter would act as rescue housing for abandoned animals, emergency shelter for lost pets and a community education center where people could learn more about spaying/neutering.

The shelter would 16 kennels, encompass about 2,000 square feet and include a cat room. Each kennel would have a 12-foot run with guillotine-style doors. The cat area would include a 300 square foot are with an isolation room for sick cats and a family room so potential owners could have a chance to bond with animals being considered for adoption.

Also being considered is the coordination of a volunteer program that would afford high school students community service hours.

Once completed, Levesque said LeAF would turn the facility over to the city to own and operate.

Council President Charles Goodman was the first to say he supported the idea, with the other councilors agreeing.

The city attorney was instructed to draft an agreement between the city and LeAF outlining who is responsible for each facet.

In the meantime, Levesque said his group will erect a sign that says "Future Home of" and continue with fundraising efforts.

To date, he said LeAF has about a third of the $260,000 needed for the project.