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City, Friends of Alameda Animal Shelter Come to Terms

Friends of the Alameda Animal Shelter

Alameda city council is expected to approve a new funding agreement with Friends of the Alameda Animal Shelter. (File photo)

On June 6th, Alameda city council is expected to approve a new funding agreement for the Alameda animal shelter.

The City of Alameda and Friends of the Alameda Animal Shelter (FAAS) issued a joint press release yesterday outlining the details of the proposed contract.

Under the terms of the deal, the City of Alameda will increase funding to the non-profit to manage the shelter, and the city will continue to provide the shelter facility, capital improvements, and animal control officers.

The terms of the proposed agreement include:

  • An annual payment from the city to FAAS not to exceed $804,300, which provides 58 percent of the total FAAS budget, with the remaining 42 percent to come from fundraising and fees, to maintain operations.
  • A one-time payment from the city to FAAS of $75,000 to cover costs anticipated to be incurred between now and June 30, 2017.
  • The city will continue to lease the shelter facility to FAAS for $1 per year. In fiscal year 2016 to 2017, the city will provide more than $170,000 in capital improvements to the shelter, including a new roof, an upgraded kitchen where animal meals are prepared, and upgrades to the heating and cooling system. In fiscal year 2017 to 2018, the city will reimburse FAAS for an additional $45,000 in one-time capital costs for shelter upgrades.
  • The Alameda Police Department will continue to provide animal control officers to support shelter operations and enforce animal control laws.
  • Working jointly with FAAS, the city will commission an operational assessment of the shelter by the American Humane Association to identify best practices in shelter management and services.
  • FAAS will continue their new partnership with the job training and placement program at Alameda Point Collaborative with the goal of providing employment for up to two program participants, expand its grants program to help support shelter operations, and explore additional grants for services like spay and neuter.
  • The term of the proposed contract is for two years, ending June 2019, with the option for city council to extend the contract an additional two years.

The City of Alameda outsourced shelter operations to the non-profit in 2012, with strong demand from the community to have FAAS take over the shelter, rather than contracting with another municipality for shelter services.

The city and the non-profit entered into a 15-year contract which included an annual payment to FAAS of $300,000, with an annual increase based on cost of living. The city also agreed to rent the facility to FAAS for $1 and maintain responsibility for the building’s roof, foundation, HVAC, and electrical systems. Responsibility for animal control remained with the police department, including responding to stray animal calls, transporting animals to the facility, and fielding enforcement of animal control laws.

But then, in early 2016, FAAS approached city officials, indicating the existing contract was not providing sufficient funding to maintain operations, and commenced a public outreach campaign to drum up support for more taxpayer funding.

According to the joint media release, the proposed agreement balances community desire for a high level of services from the shelter against competing City of Alameda budget demands.

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