Council approves sale of Newberg Animal Shelter
After almost eight months of negotiations, fund-raising and community involvement the fate of the Newberg Animal Shelter has been secured after the Newberg City Council passed a resolution Monday to approve the sale of the shelter property.
"We're just very happy that this part is over," Rick Lipinski, a board member of Newberg Animal Shelter Friends. "Now we can plan our future and move forward."
After public notice of the intention to sell the shelter, an appraisal and reviewing previous investments, the NASF and the city of Newberg agreed on sale price of $718,000. The terms are $150,000 cash at closing, $88,000 payable to the city over time with a $480,000 credit for the amounts raised by Newberg Animal Shelter Friends (NASF) to construct the facility.
"This has been a solid partnership and the city is pleased that the animal shelter is in the right, caring hands," City Manager Joe Hannan said in an email.
The procession of the sale began in October when the city began discussing budget shortfalls and talk of selling of the shelter building surfaced at a council meeting. By December the city announced it was considering selling the shelter to help pay for its $3.15 million communications upgrade in partnership with the Washington County Consolidated Communications Agency (WCCCA).
The news took NASF officials by surprise, prompting negotiations with the city in the attempt to arrive at an agreeable solution.
In January, NASF requested a right of first refusal, giving them the option to purchase the shelter building if the city decided to sell it.
In February, Hannan attempted to move things along by asking the council to determine if it would sell the shelter, all while the two parties negotiated behind closed doors.
By March, NASF announced its intention to purchase the shelter after receiving a charitable contribution from the Austin family. The family offered to contribute up to $150,000, with a match from the NASF via fundraisers.
"We have donors that have stepped up to stand with us and have real confidence in the future of the shelter," NASF board chairwoman Crista Eberle said. "We've had new monthly donors come into play and new large donors coming into play with very strong commitments."
In May a new concern surfaced: the property line of the shelter was smaller on the appraisal than what the NASF thought when they were considering the purchase. The original blueprint included 50 feet beyond the fence along the west side of the property, but the appraisal excluded that area. The original planning document included the area for growth because the other property lines conflicted with roads or residential areas. The appraised value was set at $680,000, while the sale price was an additional $38,000 when the additional land was factored in.
"The original appraisal was ordered in error and did not include the entire property that we are leasing from the city," Lipinski said. "We are going to purchase the property as shown in our lease. The city is charging us additional money to pay for that extra square footage."
In the meantime, NASF continued to hold fundraisers to fund the purchase. The group's annual Wine & Whiskers fundraiser topped $60,000 and the Oregon Community Foundation and Northern Willamette Valley Leadership Council added a $15,000 grant.
In the end, NASF has nearly raised enough money to purchase the shelter, less the $88,000 the city is putting on loan at a 3 percent interest rate.
With that settled, both the city and NASF can move forward and put the fate of the animal shelter behind them.
"The city gets its money back and NASF can look forward to a secure future," Lipinski said.