Placer County supes OK Tahoe Vista animal shelter closure | SierraSun.com

Placer County supes OK Tahoe Vista animal shelter closure

Margaret Moran
mmoran@sierrasun.com

OLYMPIC VALLEY, Calif. — The animals housed in the Tahoe Vista Animal Shelter may soon be getting a new home in Truckee.

On Tuesday morning, the Placer County Board of Supervisors voted 4-0 to approve a 30-year lease and operating agreement with the town of Truckee to provide animal shelter services for the eastern portion of the county.

The decision drew "boos" from the roughly 80-member crowd at the Resort at Squaw Creek.

Supervisor and board vice chair Robert Weygandt, of District 2, was absent.

"What is the best thing we can do for the animals in an appropriate period of time?" posed Jennifer Montgomery, District 5 supervisor, whose region includes Lake Tahoe. "… I really struggled with this, and I've had a lot of meetings with (Friends of Tahoe Vista Animal Shelter), and I just can't get over this hurdle of time and money, honestly.

"I think the opportunity to partner with Truckee is an opportunity that we can't pass up."

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Terms of the agreement include the county paying a one-time sum of $750,000 to the town; a $250 per-animal charge for sheltering services; and a $238.50 per-month fee for office space.

It's estimated the agreement will save the county $100,000 annually, or roughly $2.25 million over its 30-year lifespan, after fees.

Meanwhile, the grassroots group Friends of Tahoe Vista Animal Shelter had proposed an alternative that included building a $3 million, 3,500-square-foot Tahoe Vista shelter that would meet current Humane Society standards.

To fund construction, the group suggested imposing a parcel tax, an option the supervisors criticized.

"I don't think it was unexpected," said Linda Slack-Cruz, spokesperson for Friends of Tahoe Vista Animal Shelter, after the board's ruling. "I do feel that we still have a lot of work to do on the fundraising side, and I think we aren't ready to give up.

"We still have a little bit of time, so we're going to continue getting the letters of intent and see where we end up."

Truckee Town Council stills need to vote on the matter.

If approved, the agreement would be enacted Sept. 1, 2015, with services transitioning to the town of Truckee Animal Shelter at 10961 Stevens Lane afterward.

The 42-year-old Tahoe Vista shelter — which according to the county is nearing the end of its lifespan and doesn't meet the latest Humane Society standards — at 849 Shelter Road would close.