New homes for Sutter animal shelter, farm advisers linked
WHEN: 7 p.m. Tuesday
WHERE: Board chambers, 466 Second St., Yuba City
TOPIC: Discussion of two sites for the county’s new animal shelter
Abandoned pets and farming advisers could become pieces in a puzzle involving Sutter County and Yuba City, which are seeking new homes for both.
The puzzle pieces are two parcels — a county-owned site off Garden Highway and a city-controlled one along Live Oak Boulevard. County and city officials are considering the locations for a new 10,000-square-foot animal shelter and a complex of farm advisory offices.
On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors is scheduled to decide whether to create the pet shelter on its own parcel, or trade it for city-owned land and build the shelter farther north. A quick decision could allow work on the animal center to begin as early as the fall of 2011, according to Supervisor Stan Cleveland.
"I was asking (designers) how fast it could be done, and they said, 'As fast as you want,'" he said Thursday. "Now, two years later, we're finally getting near the point of getting started. I'll be very happy when this can be done." County and city officials are pursuing a $3 million, 10,000-square-foot building to replace the existing shelter, which opened in 1986 at 102 Second St. A new joint-powers authority representing the county, Yuba City and Live Oak would run the animal center.
Swelling numbers of abandoned dogs and cats have stretched the building's capacity as the county's population has grown to nearly 100,000 people, raising concerns about disease outbreaks among unwanted pets. The shelter's unsealed drywall construction has become a target for burrowing rats, whose intrusions accounted for a fifth of the $3,000 fine state workplace safety officials levied against the shelter last month.
An agricultural center also would become part of the animal shelter plan — either sharing the Garden Highway parcel, or having the site to itself if the shelter is built on Live Oak Boulevard. The center would cover about 31,000 square feet and place under one roof offices for the county agriculture commissioner, U.C. Cooperative Extension and a Yuba College small-business training center.
The county had offered to donate about half of the 5.6-acre Garden Highway site to the new joint-power authority running the shelter. Earlier this month, city officials instead suggested the county trade parcels with Yuba City, which owns a similar-size plot north of the water-treatment plant at Northgate Drive.
Though the shelter authority would pay only a nominal 30-year lease to operate on Garden Highway, it likely would prefer any deal giving it clear title to its home, according to Steve Jepsen, Yuba City city manager.
"It's very generous of Sutter County to lease their land at $1 a year, but at the end of the day, the asset needs to be owned by the (joint-powers authority) — it doesn't matter which site," he said.