MARSHALL, TX (KSLA) - The process for a new animal shelter in Marshall, Texas has officially begun.
Tuesday night, the Marshall City Commission voted unanimously to commit $400,000 to build a new animal shelter.
Back in February, the Marshall City Commission voted to allow for more time before making a decision on whether to renovate the current animal shelter or build a new one.
"We're currently sitting at about 2200 square feet, which for this community is small in the way of square footage, and it's old. It's 50-60 years old and is in need of quite a bit of repair," said Marshall mayor, Eric Neal.
"It's been unkempt, it's been one of those buildings that has never been a priority I guess," said Marshall Police Chief Eddie Campa.
The current shelter has 18 kennels for dogs, and according to Campa, the plans for the new shelter have 30 kennels for dogs. The new shelter will be built on a new plot of land, and will be expanded to a 4,000 to 5,000 square foot building.
The shelter will be paid for out of the city's capital budget, which is for funding things like renovating the library, or fixing a roof of a city building.
"I think this gives us a good benchmark to start on, it gives us a path to potentially going to a no kill shelter, it establishes the footprint," said Neal.
The decision Tuesday night was met with some debate on how much money should go into building the new shelter between commissioners, but all ultimately agreed on the $400,000.
"It's a sigh of relief, and I think that there were a lot of ideas about what others were thinking on the commission, and I think what we saw tonight was in general, there may have been different ideas on how much to spend and how to get there, but everyone saw the need to contribute to really providing adequate animal care and services here in Marshall," said LaDarius Carter, Marshall City Commissioner for District 4.
Animal advocates said after the meeting that this is a step in the right direction, but there is still work to be done on the shelter.
The City Commission hopes to break ground in January or February of 2017.