GONZALES, La. (BRPROUD) — Ascension Parish Government shared an update Friday on its construction plans for a new animal shelter, naming several challenges in the project.

According to a news release, the Animal Services Board in parish government listed the following challenges:

  • Five (5) or more acres are needed for the facility to be located on.
  • This land would preferably already be zoned “rural” ‘or “MU2” to allow for an animal shelter to be built.
  • The land would also need to be “high and dry”, the shelter cannot be built on a pier and beam for several reasons, one main reason is that the stairs would not be ideal for the animals.
  • By law, the Parish is not allowed to pay over the appraised value of land.

Despite its challenges, the project progresses as the board met with Shelter Planners of America for needs assessment and design concepts. Parish President Clint Cointment he said anticipates breaking ground on the project in 2023.

“While there are many steps in this process, I’m optimistic that our staff and Animal Services Board can accomplish all of this and we can be breaking ground in 2023!” stated President Cointment.

The site for the project is needed before the board can finalize a conceptual plan. Officials shared concept and floor design plans:

The animal shelter is funded through a one-mill property tax collected in 2019, according to the parish government.