Chillicothe City Council members expressed support for the concept of developing a feline sanctuary near the Forrest O. Triplett Animal Shelter south of Chillicothe, but said they must first see specific plans before giving full approval to the endeavor.

Chillicothe City Council members expressed support for the concept of developing a feline sanctuary near the Forrest O. Triplett Animal Shelter south of Chillicothe, but said they must first see specific plans before giving full approval to the endeavor. Doug Long, a board member of the Livingston County Humane Society, explained the plans during Monday night’s City Council meeting at City Hall. On behalf of the local Humane Society, Long sought the council’s approval to locate the sanctuary on city property and to take ownership of the building, once constructed. It was noted, however, that the council must first approve building plans for the facility before it is constructed and before taking ownership. The facility would be built through donations, Long said, and then donated to the city. He said that there is a $50,000 matching grant proposal from an animal welfare foundation on the table and that the local organization planned to begin efforts to raise the required matching funds. The local Humane Society raised $12,000 last year during a celebration commemorating Lesley Patek’s 25th year as shelter guardian of the Chillicothe animal shelter. “She’s been talking about a feline sanctuary for a long time,” Long told the council. “This was something we feel we need.” City Attorney Robert Cowherd stated that since the city would ultimately own the facility, the facility would need to meet certain criteria, including having the council approve the building plans, having the project meet certain bonding requirements, and paying prevailing wage for construction. Long stated that the matching funds would need to be raised this year and that the facility would be built next year. The feline sanctuary is proposed to be 40 feet by 8 feet and be located southwest of the existing shelter building. State mandates limit the facility’s occupancy to no more than 12 cats. There are several use options for the proposed sanctuary. It could be used as a quarantine area to keep sick cats away from the general population or to house pregnant cats. Additionally, the sanctuary could provide a quiet area for individuals seeking to adopt a cat to be able to sit down and socialize with the cats before selecting one to take home. Also Monday, the council heard a request from Police Chief Rick Knouse and Officer Jeremiah Grider regarding a canine drug dog. The cost of the trained dog and the hanndler’s training, if approved, would be paid for through GI Bill benefits. Additional cost estimates involved with implementing a canine officer – such as work hours and equipment necessary for the dog – are to be presented to the council at a later date. In other business Monday, the council approved a contract with Adam Perry as the emergency management co-assistant director, along with an intergovernmental agreement for cost reimbursement with the county commissioners and the hospital. Also Monday evening, council members approved Mayor Chuck Haney’s appointment of Don Ratliff to the city’s Planning and Zoning Committee, were introduced to full-time police officer Eric Menconi, passed an ordinance regarding training cost agreements and passed an ordinance regarding insurance payments for loss to a building or structure.