MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. — Baldwin County has been busy with improvement projects across the county, but some folks want to see signs of progress on other buildings including the animal shelter.

The county previously said the shelter was supposed to be finished this summer, but now the best case scenario is this fall, according to county manager Carlos Tobar.

"We've just outgrown this space, the building is old and it needs updating," said Pam Peacock, a shelter volunteer and founder of Paws4Change Baldwin. "We need to be updated as far as when we are going to move in -- if it's not June, we need to know when."

County manager Carlos Tobar said the county moved forward with renovations to the jail, including a new HVAC system, but initial cost estimates came to $143,000 of their $220,000 budget.

"I started doing other research and I found ultraviolet sanitation technology, which Petsmart uses at their boarding facilities as do other boarding facilities. It's far more cost-effective," Tobar said.

In total, the PetAirapy air purification unit the county installed in the jail ran them around $4,000 total. The county explored other options for a time. At one point, they considered constructing a whole new building instead before settling on the jail again.

Baldwin County is now on their third iteration of the layout plan for the renovation of the jail. Improvements include 30 kennels, almost double the current capacity, quarantine rooms for cats and dogs, a meet-and-greet room for families to bring in animals to meet new additions to the family, and a garage door unit.

There were rumors that the county was making a new $2 million pool priority over the shelter, but Tobar put that to rest.

"The pool itself would only be about $750,000. Plus, you have to add the cost for the restrooms and keep in mind that we only have a $2 million line-item for all of recreation in this current SPLOST," Tobar said.

That $2 million includes renovations and maintenance of parks and a track, Tobar said. The county is modeling their pool after a similar aquatic facility in Grady County. Tobar said the $750,000 total will stand if the Baldwin County School District chooses to partner with the county to handle the operating costs. Tobar said they have a meeting next Monday.

Thanks to private donations to Georgia College, kids can learn how to swim at the college's facility this summer.

One project isn't taking priority over the other, according to Tobar. He said the county is moving both projects forward as fast as they can.

"Aside from the other projects that were re-prioritized and moved up the list, we've been working on these projects simultaneously," Tobar said.

The other projects he mentioned include fixing hazards to the senior center and improvements to the county airport so it can potentially be used as a flight school.

Tobar said he plans to submit the layout for the animal shelter to county commissioners on July 2nd. He said the best case scenario would be completion in the fall.

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