The Placer County Board of Supervisors approved two important steps Tuesday in the county’s drive to build new two animal shelters.
Board members voted unanimously to update a needs assessment before proceeding with design work on the new shelters and to move ahead with plans for sharing a shelter site in South Placer with the Placer Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PSPCA).
One of the county’s new shelters will primarily serve South Placer’s rapidly growing communities.
The second will replace the aging shelter at the Placer County Government Centerin Auburn, which is commonly known as the DeWitt Center. The new, larger shelter will allow the county’s Animal Services Division to provide additional services and to better serve horses and other animals often found in rural areas.
At Tuesday’s meeting, the board approved a letter of intent that will allow formal planning with the PSPCA to proceed.
The county and PSPCA would retain their independence, but would coordinate operations at the South Placer shelter.
“Similar partnerships between local governments and nonprofit groups have been very successful elsewhere in the United States,” PSPCA Chief Executive Officer Leilani Vierra said. “Placing county and our facilities together will be convenient for the public, and will allow us to share resources and provide services more efficiently. Most importantly, the partnership will be good for the animals, because it will help ensure we continue to offer high-quality care and services.”
“We’re excited about working with the PSPCA because it is a stellar organization that provides outstanding services,” County Executive Officer Thomas M. Miller said. “Placer County is fortunate to have nonprofit organizations that not only care deeply about animals, but also have the organizational expertise to provide services effectively and efficiently.”
The county would focus primarily on providing animal-control services and sheltering stray and abandoned animals. PSPCA’s priorities would be housing animals awaiting adoption and providing community-education services.
On Tuesday, the board approved hiring George Miers & Associates to update the needs assessment, a document completed by the company in 2004 that details the program and facility needs of the county’s Animal Services Division.
The update will analyze information such as animal-intake figures, staffing projections and plans for sharing a site with the PSPCA to help the county determine how large its new shelter needs to be. The company also has done a needs assessment for the PSPCA.
The county Facility Services Department is recommending that Miers & Associates also be hired to do design work on the two shelters. Its recommendation will go to the board after the update is complete.
In July 2006, the board approved plans for building two new shelters and placed both projects into the county’s Capital Facilities Financing Plan for the next 10 years. The projected cost is $20 million: $15 million to build a new shelter in South Placer and $5 million to replace the Auburnshelter. The board set aside $2.9 million in its 2006-07 budget for the projects.
In a report to the board Tuesday, the County Executive Office said it is working with cities interested in helping finance the new shelters. Several cities contract with the county for shelter services.
The county intends to pay for shelter-construction costs caused by population growth through a Capital Facility Impact Fee on new residential developments.
In January, the board adopted the fee for projects in unincorporated areas. Cities that partner with the county in the two shelter projects will be asked to approve the fee for residential developments within their city limits.
The South Placer shelter will be built first. When it opens, the county will move shelter services currently offered in Auburnto the new facility, so it can demolish the aging Auburnfacility and build the replacement shelter.