It has been 14 months since the Franklin County Humane Society broke ground on the new animal shelter on Carpenter Farm off Flynn Avenue. So what’s the latest on the project?
Well, there is good news and bad.
Let’s start with the good news.
John Hibbard, who took over as humane society board president from Sam Marcus in July, told The State Journal that the shelter is approximately 80% complete.
On the flip side, the organization needs to raise or borrow additional funding to finish the project. More specifically, the humane society needs to come up with another $350,000.
“Unanticipated costs, such as the well-publicized access road issue and added infrastructure expenses like substantial rock removal have made our job more difficult,” he stated. “The Frankfort community has given us amazing support, we just need that final push to get this done.”
In October, Hibbard informed the fiscal court that more than $1.1 million had been spent on infrastructure “just moving rock, dirt and nature in that area.” He also noted that it was difficult to determine what the cost for infrastructure would be beforehand and the price of the road just added to that number.
In addition to use by humane society vehicles, the road will also see traffic from city vehicles as they access the sewer pump as well as people utilizing the Vaughan Branch Nature Preserve.
The humane society sought more funding assistance from the city, which eventually set aside another $75,000; the Frankfort Plant Board, which committed $50,000; and the county, which voted 5-2 against donating an additional $50,000.
Hibbard said one area that is lacking is corporate giving. In fact, just 3% of the overall donations for the project have come from corporations and businesses.
“It’s a challenge for us to reach out to all of them, and we’ve tried, but it would really help if entities interested in available sponsorships could contact us,” he explained.
Marcus, who continues to be involved with the humane society and is overseeing the construction phase of the project, said that he is available to give personal tours to anyone to “show them exactly how their donation could be recognized in the new facility.”
But, he was quick to add, tours and donations will need to be done soon in order to be in place for the shelter’s grand opening — which is currently projected to be at the end of April.
“Frankfort and the Franklin County Humane Society have waited many years for this moment,” Hibbard remarked.
The humane society has several naming opportunities still available to memorialize a beloved pet, family member or friend. Cat enclosure sponsorships are $2,000 and a dog kennel is $3,000.
According to Hibbard, specific areas and some equipment sponsorships are also available at $5,000, $10,000, $15,000 and $25,000 levels, which could be of special interest to business and corporate executives. More information is available on the humane society’s website, www.fchsanimals.org
Hibbard and Marcus can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org
“Along with construction, there is more fundraising work to be done,” Hibbard added.
One way to help is by purchasing a ticket for the humane society’s second annual bourbon raffle. There are 20 prized flights of bourbon with more than 100 bottles up for grabs.
Tickets, which cost $100 each and are available at www.frankfortbourbonraffle.com, qualifies the holder for any of the 20 prizes — including the full six-bottle Van Winkle collection and the five-bottle Buffalo Trace Antique Collection.
The drawing starts at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 9 and all proceeds go toward the completion of the new facility.