The Montgomery County Commissioners Court approved $65,000 to survey facility needs for the Montgomery County Animal Shelter. Commissioners unanimously approved the item April 25 after discussing facility upgrades and the potential for a new building.

"I think we all know [the current building] is a dilapidated, useless facility for an animal shelter," Precinct 3 Commissioner James Noack said during the meeting. "I just hate to spend $65,000 for a report that's going to say, 'It's a piece of junk.' I think we can all agree to that and stipulate that we need a new shelter at some point in the future. We need a better plan."

County Judge Mark Keough, who took over shelter operations in September, said doing the needs assessment will provide commissioners with a dollar amount to move forward with funding options for a new or renovated facility.

"I have to have this additional study from PGAL to know what to present during budget planning," he said. "Without that, I really don't have it."

PGAL, an international design firm, already completed a building assessment analysis, which found shelter needs included animal capacity issues, sizing issues, inadequate areas for disease isolation and infrastructure deficiency. The next phase would be a needs assessment.

Paul Bonnette, a representative from PGAL, said the additional report will be more detailed, studying exactly what the shelter needs moving forward. If a new shelter is needed, Bonnette said the report will include square footage, floor plans, design and a budget for the commissioners' consideration.

"We can't even have options until we get this study done," Keough said. "Then we can move forward."

The $65,000 for the study will be taken from the county's contingency budget.