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Good weather speeds animal shelter construction
Some lucky breaks in the weather have Sutter Animal Services Authority officials optimistic that the new animal shelter's construction can be completed by the end of July.
The $5 million regional facility on Garden Highway in Yuba City will replace a badly overcrowded county shelter on Second Street.
Responsibility for most shelter operations will be transferred from Sutter County — which has run the existing shelter for about 30 years — to Yuba City prior to a transition to the new building.
On Monday, a crew of workers prepared the site for the last several days of concrete work.
"It looks like we'll get another dry week ahead — and that's encouraging," said Jeff Click, construction supervisor for the 12,300-square-foot building project.
Next week, according to Click, the construction schedule calls for work on the building's walls and roof.
The site "is winterized now, so we can work in moderate rain," said George Musallam, Yuba City's director of public works.
Building the new facility, a project that involves the county, Yuba City and Live Oak, had been a political quagmire for the better part of eight years.
In spite of general agreement about overcrowded, filthy conditions at the old facility, administrators and elected officials fought over the expenses involved and the root of problems at the existing shelter.
"I would not have let my wife work in that facility," outgoing authority Chairman Gary Baland said Monday of what had been a rat-infested building.
Under pressure by the state and from a grand jury investigation in 2011, infrastructure repairs and improvements were made to the Second Street shelter.
Efforts to establish clear policies and procedures for use in the old facility, as well as the one under construction, are ongoing.
"We need to develop a complete operational plan," said Deputy County Administrative Officer Megan Greve at an authority board meeting Monday.
Greve is part of a logistics committee that includes staff members from all three jurisdictions, and which has been tasked with planning a transition to the new facility and transfer of authority to Yuba City.
Baland, who was replaced as board chairman by Yuba City Councilman John Dukes on Monday, said he was proud of the board's achievements.
"We've jointly created a brighter future for the animals of Sutter County," he said.
CONTACT Nancy Pasternack at firstname.lastname@example.org or 749-4781. Find her on Facebook at /ADnpasternack or on Twitter at @ADnpasternack.