GUILFORD -- A prominent building in Algiers Village soon may host a new business.
Debra Theriault first must navigate permitting issues before establishing a dog day care and training center at 17 Guilford Center Road.
But she is confident that her plans will become reality.
"I truly think it will be a great, low-impact business for the village," Theriault said.
The building in question is vacant and formerly was the proposed site of a "doggie day care" that didn’t come to fruition due to a variety of issues.
Theriault said her proposal is different, and she updated the Guilford Selectboard on her plans Monday evening.
The Jacksonville resident said she has worked with dogs for 20 years and has been a professional trainer for a decade. She has researched her business plan extensively, and she said dog day-care facilities are becoming increasingly popular.
"It is something that really exploded across the country," Theriault said. "And there are thousands of them."
On Tuesday, she elaborated on her plans to establish "Yankee Dog" and to offer more than just a place for dogs to stay during the day.
"I intend to run a dog day care that enhances people’s relationships with their dogs," Theriault said.
She also wants to offer training and invite practitioners of holistic animal therapies.
"My ideal goal is for a complete wellness center for dogs," she said.
"We’ll be good neighbors," she said.
Theriault first looked into leasing the Algiers property about 18 months ago and found "a lot about it that I didn’t like, but there also was a lot I did like."
In some ways, that’s still the case.
Though she already is offering a few classes inside the building, Theriault said she must pursue an amended Act 250 land-use permit from the state in order to make full use of the facility.
Outstanding issues include hours of operation and an allowance for an outdoor activity area.
Though she is renting, Theriault said she -- not the building’s owner -- is pursuing Act 250 authorizations. She is hesitant to make any more improvements at the site until that happens.
"It’s on me to work through this," Theriault said.
Selectboard members said there was little they could do, since Act 250 is a state matter. But they offered some support for another new development in Algiers, which recently has seen installation of a new water line, rehabilitation of Guilford Country Store and ongoing construction of new rental housing.
"We’d all love to see that building being used," board member Anne Rider said.
Mike Faher can be reached at email@example.com or 802-254-2311, ext. 275.