Groundbreaking “finally” done for Walton County Animal Shelter
By BRUCE COLLIER
Speaking at the October 9 groundbreaking ceremony for the new Walton County Animal Shelter, District 3 Commissioner Larry Jones said, “If there’s a word for today, the word is, ‘finally.’” Jones briefly reviewed the timeline for the project, which was first brought up in 2001. Since then, an advisory board was formed, and various locations, temporary and permanent, were suggested. “This has been a long process,” said Jones.
Last Thursday’s ceremony, held at the construction site on Triple G Road near the Walton Correctional institute, drew Commissioners Sara Comander, Cindy Meadows, and Kenneth Pridgen, County Administrator Ronnie Bell, Construction Manager Rick Millard, Planning and Development Director Pat Blackshear, Citizen Services Director Ken Little, Animal Control Supervisor Lois Marlow, Corrections Director Danny Glidewell, and other area officials, media, and interested members of the public.
Project manager Brian Kellenberger, of Dooley Mack Constructors of Northwest Florida, was also in attendance. Kellenberger said that, when complete, the shelter will be 8,400 square feet in size (“under roof”), and will also have two separate buildings. Kellenberger said that Dooley Mack will begin construction in one month, and the shelter is expected to be complete in 10 months.
Just before the actual groundbreaking, Commissioner Pridgen spoke. “This is a great day in Walton County. [The project] is all about caring for the welfare of stray animals.” Dooley Mack furnished the gilded shovels used in the ceremonial groundbreaking, and provided free sandwiches, soft drinks and cookies for attendees.