Local News

Monday, May 07 2012 10:00 PM

Supervisors to review possible new animal shelter sites

BY JAMES BURGER Californian staff writer jburger@bakersfield.com

Kern County supervisors will get a look at two of three buildings being eyed as the new home for county Animal Control's main shelter during a closed-door meeting Tuesday.

The third will be reviewed at a future Board of Supervisors meeting.

Two large warehouse complexes on East Brundage Lane, not far from the current shelter on South Mount Vernon Avenue, are in the running. A large showroom and warehouse on Sillect Avenue near Buck Owens Crystal Palace is also on the list.

The buildings range in size from about 30,000 square feet to 67,200 square feet and would lease for between approximately $100,000 and $300,000 a year, according to brochures for the properties, which are being marketed by CB Richard Ellis.

Coby Vance, representing CB Richard Ellis, said two buildings on East Brundage Lane are being considered as shelter locations.

The county is looking at one of three buildings at 1901 E. Brundage and "Building A" at 3901 E. Brundage Lane, he said.

The 3901 building is a 33,500-square-foot metal frame structure that is being marketed at about $140,000 a year in rent, according to brochures.

There are three buildings at 1901 E. Brundage and the county is looking for something of similar size to the 3901 E. Brundage property, Vance said. That location will not be presented to supervisors Tuesday, according to Kathleen Krause, clerk of the Board of Supervisors. That's because the site was misidentified on the agenda for Tuesday's meeting and must be re-noticed to meet agenda posting requirements.

The final property is a standalone building at 3401 N. Sillect Ave. -- a former showroom and warehouse spot that is being marketed at an annual lease of around $314,000 a year, according to the CBRE brochure.

A representative of the company that owns the building, Jon Gergen, confirmed that Kern County is interested in the property as a potential location for the shelter.

Kern County Public Health and General Services officials have released nearly no information about the status of the negotiations, as have property owners and real estate representatives because those talks are still under way.

The supervisors are allowed to discuss property negotiations in private under the state's open meetings law.

Kern County is looking for a new home for its animal shelter after supervisors voted to terminate a lease with the city of Bakersfield on the current location on South Mount Vernon after the county and city could not reach agreement on the price of continued county service to about 12,000 animals brought in by city residents and animal control officers a year.

COUNTY COUNSEL

Also Tuesday, Kern County Counsel Theresa Goldner will ask supervisors to go beyond county policy and authorize her to take an additional two weeks of vacation time a year.

She would get work credit for the more than six years she spent as a Kern County Superior Court commissioner -- a county job at the time -- and earn a total of 176 hours of vacation a year, up from her current 97 hours.

The dollar value of the extra time -- though it is not a direct pay increase for Goldner -- is calculated at $7,983, including an average of the monthly car allowance Goldner receives.

The item is scheduled to be approved by supervisors as part of the routine "consent agenda" vote scheduled for Tuesday afternoon.

Goldner acknowledged that county policy only allows an employee to count time worked continuously for the county toward the amount of vacation time he or she earns in a year.

But Goldner said there have been a couple of situations in which a department head was granted the extra vacation time.

One was for former Public Defender Mark Arnold, she said, and the other was for former Kern Medical Center CEO Jerry Starr.

According to Kern County Personnel Department reports, there are 483 county employees who have a split in their county service but only receive benefits based on their current term of employment.

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