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Peachtree DeKalb Airport site is chosen for animal shelter
by Sarah Anne Voyles
svoyles@neighbornewspapers.com
July 03, 2013 10:39 AM | 2149 views | 0 0 comments | 50 50 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The months of delay ended when the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners voted 6-1 for the animal shelter to relocate to DeKalb-Peachtree Airport.

District 1 Commissioner Elaine Boyer, was the only no vote on the decision.

“It was a fiscal decision I had to make,” Boyer said. “We have put $7 million into the Johns Homestead when we bought it and PDK is not already owned by the county.”

Besides purchasing the property, Boyer did not agree with the argument that the PDK site was shovel-ready.

“With PDK, we have to go through the FAA and buy the property,” said Boyer. “Whatever is done, you have to have developer plans for the property and the same amount of trees will be cut down at PDK as at the Johns Homestead site. A lot of the arguments that the opponents gave were simply not correct.”

“There will be a repayment of $1,040,000 to the FAA,” DeKalb County media relations advisor Alisa Jackson said. “This information was included in the costs the Animal Services Evaluation committee presented during the commissioners’ presentations. The next step is to work with the law department to draft an agreement for the repayment to the FAA.”

Around 100 supporters for the PDK site appeared at last week’s meeting wearing red or green shirts. The red shirts represented the need for a new location for the shelter and the green shirts represented those who did not want it to relocate to Johns Homestead Park.

Tucker resident Linda McCulloch started coming to the meetings back in April after a friend emailed her telling of the importance. McCulloch’s concern about the Johns Homestead site was that it is a park and PDK is not.

“The PDK site is already a commercial site,” McCulloch said. “Studies done show there are people in that area who will volunteer and adopt from the shelter. PDK just seems to be the logical choice.”

Other supporters stated the importance of keeping both the animal shelter and the park separate.

“I lived right next to the park for 42 years,” Tucker resident Verene Ricketts said. “I think a park is a more important decision, and this has been our vision for years. By having the park it will keep the legacy of DeKalb and the Johns family.”

The commissioners had deferred the decision since March 2013.

What's next?
The county will make plans to develop the property, and repay the Federal Aviation Administration $1.04 million.
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