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Newberg Animal Shelter Friends and the city closed on the sale of the facility on Dec. 21

The city of Newberg recently closed on the sale of the Newberg Animal Shelter, with the Newberg Animal Shelter Friends now officially owners of the building and the land.GRAPHIC FILE PHOTO - The city of Newberg recently closed on the sale of the Newberg Animal Shelter, with the Newberg Animal Shelter Friends now officially owners of the building and the land.

City Manager Joe Hannan and Community Development Director Doug Rux both said the sale officially closed this month. Hannan added that he signed his portion of the closing document before he went on vacation prior to the Christmas holiday.

"I believe it's all closed," he said.

According to the shelter's Facebook page, the paperwork was officially signed on Dec. 21.

"It's in the appropriate place," Hannan said of the sale.

Rick Lipinski, who is on the Newberg Animal Shelter Friends board of directors, said everyone involved with the shelter was happy, as the purchase was "over a year in coming."

"There were a lot of hoops to jump through, we finally got it taken care of due to the generosity of the community and of the Austin family," he said.

Rux said NASF now owns the land as well as the building that sits on it.

"Yes, it's a good thing so they control their own destiny and for the city which has gotten out of the animal shelter business several years ago and endorses the private group doing this," Hannan said. "It's a good thing for everyone."

Lipinski also said it was good for the shelter to control its own destiny now, saying it was hopefully "the beginning of a great new era for the Newberg Animal Shelter."

The City Council passed a resolution in August to approve the sale of the shelter property and after 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 funds raised NASF to construct the facility.

Lipinski said that $88,000 is a loan from the city to be paid off in 15 years, although they hope to retire that debt much faster.

"I think we're very well positioned to do that," Lipinski said. "This really is the best case scenario for us right now."

According to the shelter's Facebook post, a matching campaign sponsored by the Ken Austin Fund at the Oregon Community Foundation allowed for the group to purchase the shelter building and property.

"Thank you to our amazing community for supporting us through this journey," the post read. "We still have $60,000 to raise to reach our overall funding goal …"

"We just couldn't be happier," Lipinski said. "It gives us some control over our future so we can make plans not just for next month, but for the next five years. We know our future is up to us."

Movement on a potential sale began in October 2017, when the council at the time began discussing budget shortfalls and the potential idea of selling the shelter surfaced. By December of that year the city announced it was considering selling the shelter to help offset its $3.15 million communications upgrade partnership with the Washington County Consolidated Communications Agency (WCCCA).

In January 2018, NASF requested first right of refusal, giving them the option to purchase the shelter, as officials there were taken by surprise when the council announced they were considering the sale. In February, Hannan asked the council to determine if they were selling the shelter, and by March NASF announced its intention to buy the shelter after receiving the Austin family donation. The family offered to contribute up to $150,000 with a match from NASF fundraisers.

In May it was discovered the property line of the shelter was smaller on the appraisal than what the NASF initially thought. 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.

NASF continued to hold fundraisers 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.

Business briefs

Newberg to swear in new City Councilors

The Newberg City Council will swear in its newly-elected members at 7 p.m. Jan. 7 during the regular business meeting. There will not be a preceding work session for the meeting and an agenda for the business session was unavailable at press time Friday afternoon.

YCCO to launch new partnership

The Yamhill Community Care Organization announced a new collaboration with the Performance Health Technology and Providence Plan Partners to begin Jan. 1. YCCO is responsible for the care of Oregon Health Plan members in the county and surrounding areas. PH Tech and PPP will work with them to build a provider network specific to YCCO, help care management and provide pharmacy benefit management.

YCCO members will not see a coverage change. Most members will continue to be served by their primary care providers, although some rearrangements may occur. Notice of this was mailed to all members in November, and new identification cards will be mailed out in the final week of December. Members can contact customer service at 1-855-722-8205.

Newberg to offer several winter warming stations

The city of Newberg will offer a series of warming stations throughout the winter, which are supervised by the organization's staff or volunteers. The locations are as follows: the Newberg Public Library at 503 East Hancock St. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Fridays from noon to five p.m., and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; The Chehalem Senior Center on 101 West Foothills Drive, Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; the Chehalem Cultural Center of 415 East Sheridan Street on Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; the Second Street Community Church Drop in Center on 504 East First Street on Monday through Friday 9 a.m. through 1 p.m.

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