Negotiations for regional Tahoe-Truckee animal shelter continue | SierraSun.com

Negotiations for regional Tahoe-Truckee animal shelter continue

Margaret Moran
mmoran@sierrasun.com

TRUCKEE, Calif. — Town Council has directed staff to continue working on an agreement with Placer County to create a regional animal shelter in Truckee.

In recent months, town and county officials have been discussing a partnership that would relocate operations from the Tahoe Vista Animal Shelter to the town of Truckee Animal Shelter at 10961 Stevens Lane.

Draft terms for a 30-year agreement were presented to town council Tuesday night. They include:

Placer County would pay a one-time lump sum of $750,000. Then, a side agreement between the town and Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe would equally divide the $750,000 between the two parties, with the Society's portion being applied to a town loan taken out for recent construction of the Truckee Animal Shelter.

Placer County would pay lease amounts, consistent with the town's other office spaces, for two work stations to be used by county animal service officers.

Placer County would pay the town on a per-animal basis for services of the shelter.

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"We're almost done with negotiations," Truckee Police Chief Adam McGill said Wednesday.

Final agreement language and certain terms — such as the amount Placer County would pay the town per animal — remain, he said.

A final agreement is expected to be voted on by town council and the Placer County Board of Supervisors in January, McGill said.

If either rejects the proposal, the 40-year-old Tahoe Vista Animal Shelter at 849 Shelter Road would remain open and likely operate as it does today for the foreseeable future.

Eventually, the aging Tahoe Vista shelter would need to be replaced, which could cost Placer County taxpayers between $2 million to $3 million, officials said previously.

If the deal is approved, animals that currently go to Tahoe Vista would go to Truckee, likely starting in spring 2015, McGill said.

Meanwhile, the kennel attendant position in the Tahoe Vista shelter would transfer to the county's shelter in Auburn, according to past reports. Further, the two animal control officers based out of Tahoe Vista would transfer to Truckee, but still cover eastern Placer County.

Between the lump sum and ongoing revenue from office space and animal fees, town staff do not anticipate negative financial impacts to Truckee.

Meanwhile, the county anticipates the agreement would save taxpayer money through a deduction of operational costs and by not having to build a new shelter.

"It supports a government best practice in being as efficient and prudent as possible with the taxpayers' dollars," according to a town report written by McGill.

Cost savings along with increased adoption rates and improved animal heath from being housed in a state-of-the-art facility are among the benefits the county foresees with this agreement.

Yet, initial concerns raised by the public include travel distance to the Truckee facility and residents on the North Shore losing a local point of contact to help match animals with families.

Additional public input will be taken at three public meetings in the next two weeks. Both county and town representatives will attend and be available to answer questions.

If you go

What: Eastern Placer County Animal Shelter Services Meeting

Where: North Tahoe Event Center (Shoreline Room), 8318 North Lake Blvd., Kings Beach

When: 2 p.m., Dec. 2

What: Squaw Valley Municipal Advisory Council meeting

Where: Squaw Valley Public Service District (community meeting room), 305 Squaw Valley Road, Olympic Valley

When: 6 p.m., Dec. 4

What: North Tahoe Regional Advisory Council

Where: Tahoe City Public Utility District (board room), 221 Fairway Drive, Tahoe City

When: 6 p.m., Dec. 11

These meetings are informational on the future of the Tahoe Vista Animal Shelter, with an opportunity for public comment.

Source: Placer County