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FARMINGTON — Construction on the city's long-anticipated $4 million regional animal shelter is expected to begin around the new year.

City Council approved a $3.3 million bid to Jaynes Corporation Tuesday evening.

After four and a half years of negotiations and planning, local animal rights advocates are celebrating. The city's work, however, is far from over.

Following a letter of complaint sent to the mayor, city council and City Manager Rob Mayes by the Humane Society of the Four Corners on Nov. 12, the city contracted with Marcy Eckhardt of Pro-Shelter to provide leadership and guidance for the new shelter.

"This will be a huge asset to the shelter, and was actually recommended by (the Humane Society)," said Traci Fletcher, Humane Society of the Four Corners Board Member. "(The Humane Society) has complete confidence in Marcy Eckhardt and we can honestly say (we are) now 110 percent behind the Farmington Animal Shelter while it is under Marcy's direction."

While the city is taking steps in the right direction, measurable progress may be slow to come, Fletcher said.

"The improvements will not be overnight, but they will come as quickly as possible," she said. "The animals in our community have suffered for far too many years."

Part of the solution may be to implement additional low-cost spay and neuter programs, Fletcher said.

"We must reduce the number of animals being born in our community and the only real proven solution is low cost spay and neuter which is why this is (our) primary program," she said.


"(Veterinary) costs in the Four Corners are higher than most in the US, and we must make low-cost spay and neuter available to everyone in need. It's education. We have to educate on spay and neuter."

The construction process, however, is likely to move much faster.

City officials and Jaynes Corporation are expected to hold a preconstruction meeting in about two weeks, said the city's purchasing officer Edward Smylie.

After the meeting, the construction firm will have about 10 months to complete the project, said Jeff Bowman, Parks Recreation and Cultural Affairs director.

The new shelter was funded in part through a $2.7 million grant from the state. Farmington and San Juan County are splitting the rest of the bill. Additional funding will come from the Regional Animal and Pet Shelter Foundation.

The foundation has raised $455,000 of its $500,000 goal, said board member Donna Ogilvie.