| By Jason C. Mattox
Property surrounding the Boys and Girls Club on Highway 51 South in Batesville could go to the dogs ? many, many, dogs ? if a Rural Development loan application is approved for a shelter.
Batesville Mayor Jerry Autrey informed The Panolian last week that the city has submitted the application with assistance from the North Delta Planning and Development District.
If approved, the loan would provide the city and county with $486,000 toward the construction of an animal shelter.
Of that $486,000, $75,000 is matching funds that must come from the city and county, he said.
"The city and all of Panola County need a new shelter," he said. "The old dog pound just isn’t enough anymore."
The proposed facility would be built on property near the old National Guard Armory that is now home to the Boys and Girls Club.
In order for the city to apply for the loan, the city and county had to sign an interlocal agreement.
"We are all supporting this project," Autrey said. "The board of supervisors has been very positive about what we are trying to do."
According to Trey Hamby of North Delta Planning, the loan application must now go to USDA for consideration. Rural Development is an agency with in the USDA.
"There is a chance they could look at the application and come back to us wanting more information," he said.
"Just because the application has been sent in, that doesn’t automatically mean they will receive the funding," Hamby added.
Hamby said the proposed facility would be approximately 4,600 square feet and would contain an office, restrooms, storage and holding pens for the animals.
"The plans they are submitting are the same as a proposed shelter for Senatobia and Tate County," he said. "They are using the same architect.
"But both Senatobia and Batesville are going after the same pot of money," Hamby said. "Hopefully both can be funded."