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Group plans to build shelter



Published: Tue, September 24, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



FARRELL, Pa. -- The city will allow the Humane Society of Mercer County to build a combination office/retail store/animal shelter at Fruit Avenue and Roemer Boulevard.

The Farrell Zoning Hearing Board has granted the society a variance allowing the project to be built on the northeast corner of the intersection. The land is zoned for central commercial use. Rick Harakal, society president, said he owns the land and will sell it to the society at his cost.

There's no hurry for the debt to be paid off back, he said, explaining that the important thing is to get a shelter built to temporarily house injured, abused or neglected dogs, cats and birds. Harakal said the society is looking at a 2,600-square-foot, split-entry building that would have a kennel and garage space for two vehicles on the basement level and offices, a small retail store and meeting space on the first floor.

To build a structure of that size could cost about $250,000 if the society had to purchase all of the materials and hire a builder but Harakal said he expects to get it built for "way, way less."

He's already gotten promises of everything from concrete blocks to roof trusses and is now looking for someone to donate the use of a bulldozer to dig out the foundation.

He said the society does have some money in its building fund but not enough to finish the project.

The plan is to get the building under roof before winter and then work on the interior over the cold months, he said.




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