Things are looking up for the Erath County Humane Society.
After months of negotiations to find common ground on a new contract with the city, an agreement has finally been reached.
“We are getting a new shelter and the money we were asking for,” said Matt Harpole, president of the ECHS board of directors. “The board is excited with the opportunity the city is giving us. This will allow us to handle growth for the next 20 years.”
The facility the ECHS currently uses is too small and has a host of structural problems that includes flooding when it rains.
The city is furnishing the land - a 1.07 acre of property near the fire training center on Airport Road - and a local businessman has reportedly agreed to help fund the cost of a new facility.
Harpole said the board may need to have a capital campaign to raise money for the remainder of the cost of the 4,000-4,500 square foot facility they plan to build.
“The facility will all be under one roof, but we will have outside pens,” Harpole said.
The city has also agreed to increase its funding to the ECHS by $19,000 to $36,000 per year.
“We are going to reevaluate the situation in six months.” Harpole said. “We may need more money or we might be able to stick with what we have.”
Harpole said the board is moving quickly to begin construction and has already ordered a survey on the land.
He has also met with Sheriff Matt Coates to begin an inmate work program that would help control labor costs, but details of that agreement have not been worked out just yet.