In the spring of 2016 Marrick Properties’ Rick Bailey, left, announced a public/private partnership to build an animal shelter in Calvert. A state-of-the-art shelter was the dream of former commissioner Linda Kelley (right).

Prince Frederick, MD – There will be one dozen rent checks Calvert County officials will not have to write in fiscal year 2019. The Calvert County Commissioners approved the purchase of the property and structures on parcels in the county’s industrial park in Prince Frederick where a new animal shelter is located. The $6.1 million purchase of the Linda L. Kelley Animal Shelter was made possible with bonding authority approved by the state legislature earlier this year.

“This is a good day,” said Commissioner Pat Nutter [R-District 2], who added he was proud to have sat on the board that made an animal shelter solely for Calvert County possible. The facility, developed by Marrick Properties, is nearing completion. Recently, the board took actions to prepare for secession from the Tri-County Animal Shelter in Hughesville. The official date Calvert’s affiliation with the regional shelter is Nov. 1. The ribbon cutting ceremony and soft-opening of Calvert’s new shelter is Oct. 9. Kelley, the former commissioner and animal-lover who spearheaded the effort to get a “no-kill” facility built in Calvert, would be celebrating her birthday on the scheduled ceremony day. Kelley died in February 2017. Aware that she was seriously ill, the commissioners unanimously decided to name the shelter in her honor prior to her passing.

“It will be real nice to have that ribbon cutting,” said Commissioner Tom Hejl [R-At large]. Hejl added that Marrick Properties’ cofounder Rick Bailey “should be congratulated for helping out.” In 2016 Bailey approached the county government about a public/private partnership that would culminate in construction of a state-of-the-art animal shelter.

Commissioners’ President Evan K. Slaughenhoupt Jr. [R-District 3] making the shelter and the Animal Control Unit the purview of the Department of Public Safety has also been a good move. Regarding the request for bonding authority needed to purchase the new facility, Slaughenhoupt noted, “four of our five legislators [in the Calvert County Delegation] supported this.”

The acquisition means Calvert County will not be paying $45,833.33 monthly to Marrick Properties. The action was the exercising of the purchase option within the agreement with the developer.

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