Millions of dollars in COVID funding will be allocated in Marshall County for road repairs and an animal shelter

MARSHALL CO., Ala. (WAFF) – The Marshall County Animal Shelter is about to be renovated, thanks to millions in COVID-19 relief funds from the American Recovery Act.

Marshall County animal advocates have been pushing for a new shelter for some time now.

Last week, Marshall County Commission Chairman James Hutcheson said they learned they could use $10 million of their $18 million American Recovery Act COVID-19 relief. after the relaxation of the rules.

“It was a win, a win for the people of Marshall County, and it made my job and the job of the commission a lot easier because they put so many restrictions there. It was difficult for us to know where we could spend it,” Marshall County Commission Chairman James Hutcheson said.

Commission Chairman James Hutcheson said the spending rules now allow them to use the money to replace revenue on general government-type items.

This includes $1.5 million for each county commissioner to spend on road and bridge projects.

At the top of the road list is Union Grove Road after part of it collapsed in last December’s storm.

District 1 Commissioner Ronny Shumate said the funding was a blessing and they were waiting for permits to begin repairs.

“The public is going to see a lot of work in progress. For a lot of these projects, it’s hard for the public to see where the money is going,” Hutcheson said.

$500,000 in upgrades will now go to the Marshall County Animal Shelter.

“Right now, we are going to build new offices for the employees. We will install new toilets; an office space, an outback sally port, and new insulation inside the shelter. We’re going to bring in a company and drain the floors again.

Last July, the commission approved the continuation of the renovation project. Hutcheson said they were waiting for the offers to be finalized, with new designs.

Money has been set aside for the project, which Marshall County animal advocate Angie Moon said could be used to buy a new shelter.

“I think it’s a band-aid, and it’s something they’re doing to get them out of hot water with the animal-caring community,” Moon said.

More importantly, Moon said a new building would help reduce the spread of disease.

“They had parvo in that shelter, and it spreads so easily, and a new proper ventilation system helps with that,” Moon said.

Volunteer fire departments will also receive five P25 radios that will cost over $7,000 to help them respond to emergencies.

“Not every volunteer fire department had the funds to purchase these, so this will be very beneficial to the volunteer fire department and rescue teams here in Marshall County,” Hutcheson said.

Hutcheson said after the deals came out; renovations should start in 6-8 weeks on the animal shelter.

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