Jackson Co. looking to create animal shelter service district

JACKSON COUNTY, Ore.— Jackson County officials are working toward creating an animal shelter service district to fund a brand-new shelter.

Their goal is to create a measure for the November ballot.

Jackson County officials have talked with three of the 11 total municipalities about putting a service district on the ballot.

So far, only Gold Hill has approved the idea.

Jackson County Health and Human Services Director Stacy Brubaker said, “there is no fixing what we have. We have fixed and fixed and fixed. There is nothing left for us to fix over there.”

Brubaker said she has been working on funding the county’s animal shelter since she started in her position two years ago.

The current animal shelter has just under 90 kennels, but the shelter routinely has over 100 dogs in its care.

Brubaker said, “our population has grown since that shelter was originally created and so we need to be able to accommodate a little bit for our population base.”

Now, the county is talking to each of the 11 municipalities in Jackson County about putting an animal shelter service district on the November ballot.

If the measure passes, it would cost taxpayers $0.15 per $1,000 of assessed value.

For a home valued at $350,000, that would be about $30 per year.

“Eventually it will be that the building will be paid off and then we would continue to have some dollars to be able to pay for the overall cost of running the shelter,” Brubaker said, “right now, we really use general funds to make up the difference of what’s not being paid.”

Brubaker said the district could potentially generate just over $2 million per year.

She said that would cover almost all of the cost of operating the shelter, which is currently pulling $1.5 million from the county’s general fund each year.

The current animal shelter has been in operation since the 60’s and Brubaker said they need an entirely new facility to meet the needs of the animals.

She believes a new facility is the best way to ensure the shelter would have all the resources it needs.

Brubaker said, “we would have an area for surgical, an area for spay and neutering, we would be able to have space for intakes, community space to be able to do education programs in an effort to try and keep animals from coming to the shelter in the first place.”

Brubaker said they will continue to meet with cities across the county to gauge their interest in the project.

She hopes that the county will be able to do more community outreach about funding the shelter as they get closer to November.

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Former NBC5 News reporter Derek Strom is from Renton, Washington. He recently graduated from the Edward R. Murrow College of Communications at Washington State University with a degree in Broadcast News and a minor in Sports Management. He played in the drumline with the WSU marching band. These days, he plays the guitar and piano. Derek is a devoted fan of the Mariners, Seahawks, and Kraken.
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