YORKVILLE – Kendall County Board members got to take a tour of the newly renovated Kendall County Animal Control facility early Wednesday, June 24.
County Board members Amy Cesich, Robyn Vickers, Elizabeth Flowers, Scott Gengler and Matt Prochaska – who serve on the county's animal control committee – and Kendall County Board Chairman Scott Gryder were among the county officials and staff who toured the building, 802 W. John St. The tour came after the county animal control committee met as a committee of the whole at the facility earlier that morning.
Cesich, who chairs the county animal control committee, said the remodeling for the animal control shelter building began March 16. She said she and county officials visited Kane County's newer animal control facility about a year ago and noticed that Kane County's building had one thing that Kendall County's building didn't have at the time: windows.
"It's a simple thing that made a huge difference," Cesich said.
County officials said there were six animals being temporarily housed at Countryside Veterinary Clinic in Yorkville, run by Dr. Gary Schlapp. Kelly Prestegaard, animal control officer and kennel manager for the county's animal control, said the animals were being returned to the animal control building later Wednesday.
The renovation project cost the county more than $207,000 total and included new windows, an updated HVAC system with better airflow in the building, washable ceiling tiles, new lights, new insulation and equipment for future key card access capabilities.
Cesich said the renovation project was budgeted out of this fiscal year's animal control capital fund. She said the county went a little over budget because of duct work to remove odors and low voltage electrical, but the additional cost will be paid out of the animal control fund, which is self-funded.
The updates also include a new visiting room near where the dog kennels are currently and four kennels were removed from the facility to make room for the new area. The visiting area used to be the space that is now the office of animal control staff including Laura Pawson, director of Kendall County Animal Control, whose office used to be in a nearby trailer.
Cesich said the idea of the space is to temporarily hold animals until they are returned to their owners or adopted. She said the hope is that holding space won't be an issue with the new facility, but it has never been up to full capacity before and that's why county officials could justify taking out the four dog kennels.
Lawson said current capacity for the facility is dog stray quarantine 19, adoption 13 for dog, 12 cages for cats but could make 16 with some dividers
Cesich said the bid for the project was originally $267,000 total. However, she said, county facilities staff was able to save the county about $100,000 overall.
“Getting it done for what we did is, I think, kind of a miracle because we added some things that weren’t originally in the bid,” Cesich said.
Jim Smiley, facilities management director for Kendall County, said the added items that weren't in the original bid for the renovation project included removing the ceiling after finding possible evidence of rodent infestation and insulation hanging from the ceiling. It also included redoing the laundry area, relocating the water heater, re-doing the piping in the kennel areas, repairing door frames, and removing and re-installing kennels in the isolation room.
"I think for the money, we got a lot out of it and I think it was smart to go the way that we did," Cesich said. "So I'm glad we did."
Pawson said she was pleased with there being not at a lot of setbacks in the renovation process. She said she was told the project would take about 90 days and that held true.
Pawson said she's happy with the project overall, including the windows and especially with the HVAC adjustments. She said the facility has struggled with climate control and air quality over the years and the system just kept on getting patched up for the decade she's been with animal control.
"i think we needed it so badly over the years," Pawson said. "I think it's going to make a huge difference."