Nevada County, Grass Valley and Nevada City have approved a memorandum of understanding to explore building a joint animal shelter to serve the region.
The shelter, which could be built in the next four to five years, is needed because existing facilities are crowded, noisy, and reaching the end of their useful lifespans. Officials from all three jurisdictions believe they can better serve animals and humans with a centralized animal shelter.
“By all of us working together, it is good government,” said Supervisor Lisa Swarthout at the Jan. 9 Board of Supervisors meeting, adding that she is confident the three jurisdictions will be able to work out a resolution to make the project happen. “I will do everything in my power to help move this along.”
The Board of Supervisors and the city councils for the two communities approved the agreement in meetings earlier this month.
In addition, supervisors approved a $1.85 million contract with LDA Partners, Inc. for architectural design services. The shelter would be located on a 23-acre property the County recently purchased on La Barr Meadows Road near the Nevada County Operations Center. Funding sources for construction and operation of the center have not yet been determined.
Currently, Nevada County contracts with Sammie’s Friends to provide animal shelter services, while Grass Valley provides the services for itself and Nevada City. Animal control services are core services that all three jurisdictions are required to provide.
City managers from Grass Valley and Nevada City said taking a regional approach makes the best sense for the area.
“Grass Valley is excited about the prospects of moving forward with a new regional animal shelter,” said Grass Valley City Manager Tim Kiser. “We look forward with our partner agencies to make this happen."
Sean Grayson, city manager for Nevada City, said: “Working toward a collaborative solution to animal control and sheltering with the City of Grass Valley and the County of Nevada will allow Nevada City to maintain and enhance the exceptional service we receive from the City of Grass Valley currently by providing an economy of scale to cost and functionality for a new, state of the art, facility and service delivery model,” he said.