The county will provide about $2.1 million of that cost, Skidmore said. The remainder of the money will come through fundraising, he said.
A $2.3 million animal shelter is "not right for the county," Casto said.
"But it's being built," he said. "We have to stand by it now."
Skidmore said, "It is a concern that such a large percentage of the budget is going to the animal shelter."
However, both agreed with the commission's recent decision to increase the county fire fee from $25 to $37.50 a year. Casto went so far as to say the fee would need to be increased again in the future.
"My opinion is there was a need to increase the fire fee," Skidmore said. "But we need to make sure those extra funds coming in are going to the right areas."
Casto, a former volunteer firefighter himself, said he walked the district trying to get the fee passed. Fire departments are struggling to pay bills such as workers compensation premiums and utilities that continue to increase.
"They (fire departments) have to have more funding," Casto said. "You can't bring businesses, jobs and homes to the county if you ain't got fire departments and ambulances."
Many businesses in the county support the increase because fire protection reduces insurance premiums, Skidmore said.
Skidmore threw his hat in the ring to keep a tight rein on the county's budget. The Putnam County Commission has an approximately $18 million budget, he said.
"The regional jail bill takes up a lot of that budget," Skidmore said. "We need to try to circumvent some of that cost."
Promoting the county and creating jobs would be one of Casto's main goals if elected, he said.
"We have to promote our county to create jobs," he said. "We don't want our kids and grandkids leaving to find jobs."
The current election represents the first time both candidates have sought public office. Both ran unopposed in the primary election last spring.