So you all may or may not recall in 2011 there was a huge budget problem in the City of Alameda that was forcing the City to take a good hard look of what it could trim off of budgets. One of the possible budget trimmings for the Police Department was to turn over operations of the Animal Shelter to some other entity or lose between four to eight police officers.
Clearly not pleasant options either way.
Eventually the Friends of the Alameda Animal Shelter was formed and this non profit group agreed to take over operations of the shelter as opposed to turning over shelter operations to the County or some other agency. The eventual lease terms were hammered out which were designed to divest responsibility from the Police Department, but make it so that the arrangement with FAAS worked. Here are the lease terms from the staff report:
- The term of the lease is 15 years , with an option to extend for two periods of five
years each subject to mutual approval.
- FAAS will pay the City $1 annually as rent.
- The City will contribute $300 000 in the first year towards the Shelter s operation. In subsequent years , the $300 000 contribution will grow by an escalator based on the Bay Area Consumer Price Index.
- The City will maintain responsibility for the building s roof, foundation
heating/ventilation/air conditioning systems, and electrical systems.
- FAAS will be responsible for general maintenance of the building as well as janitorial services.
- FAAS will provide all of the general Shelter services such as licensing of companion animals (for which it will be entitled to keep the licensing revenues), holding of strays and owner-surrendered animals, and the provision of after-hours drop boxes.
Additionally the City of Alameda provides two part-time staff people for the duration of the lease. The lease is set to expire in 2026.
This lease was approved with a unanimous vote of the City Council.
So with this back history, Trish Spencer has placed, on Council Referral, this item:
Consider directing staff to renegotiate the terms of the lease with Friends of the Alameda Animal Shelter (FAAS), including reviewing and addressing the City’s allocation and support of FAAS.
Provide direction to relocate and modernize the shelter facility and address funding options, including the City Capital Improvement Program, a bond, a community capital campaign, and any other options or a combination thereof.
Currently the terms of the lease are very generous with FAAS. $1 lease payment and annual operation funds of $300K. The second line is more strange. This whole thing feels a little micromanage-y as a community capital campaign would squarely fall under the responsibilities of the Board of Directors of FAAS which has established a strategic plan that includes a long term plan of developing a new facility. While the City could extend a loan to FAAS for facility building, it’s not even clear if FAAS itself is ready to launch a capital campaign for a new facility.