The Independence area has needed a new, larger animal shelter for years. Let’s hope the latest plans lead somewhere this time.

City and Jackson County officials have talked about this long enough and then some. Now the City Council is looking at a new facility near Metropolitan Community College-Blue River on the city’s east side. It would be three times the size of the current shelter on Vista Drive.

The county would have a role, providing much of the money for construction. It’s putting up $5.3 million. The city would run the facility, which would serve Independence and possibly other communities such as Buckner.

A couple of times a week this newspaper runs listings and photos of abandoned animals being cared for at the Independence Animal Services shelter or at Animals Best Friends on 23rd Street. There are always lots of dogs and cats in need of loving homes. A new facility would be a big step toward better care for them.