The San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors is moving forward with plans to build a new, $20 million Animal Services facility.
On Tuesday, supervisors approved a budget agreement with the seven cities paying into the project and awarded the construction contract to F&H Construction out of Lodi.
The current animal shelter, located off Highway 1 near the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office, is about 43 years old.
Plans for a new facility have been in the works for a couple of years. The project was originally estimated to cost about $14.5 million, but the county says after completing its negotiations with F&H, that amount is closer to $20 million.
The increase in cost is being attributed to inflation, increased costs of construction materials, a nationwide building boom, and more stringent labor laws.
The cities of Atascadero, Arroyo Grande, Grover Beach, Morro Bay, Paso Robles, Pismo Beach, and San Luis Obispo will all contribute to the project's financing.
The new Animal Services location is projected to be just 100 yards east of the current building so the county can maintain its working relationships with Woods Humane Society and the San Luis Obispo County Honor Farm inmates who help take care of the animals.
The county says the new facility will be more sustainable and inviting, allow for humane care of animals into the future, and support the department's volunteer program.