animal shelter

Abandoned kennels at the defunct Banning Animal Shelter. The animal shelter has been cleaned up since this photo was taken.

The city of Banning went ahead and approved a six-month lease agreement with the Banning Chamber of Commerce to lease the animal shelter at 2244 Charles Avenue for $1 a month, retroactively to Aug. 26.

The chamber will be responsible for paying for insurance and utilities.

In motioning for the consent item to be approved, Councilman David Happe called it a “Tremendous benefit to the animals and to the community,” and praised those involved with volunteering to make the effort happen. “I couldn’t think of a better reason to lease city property for a negligible amount,” as it was one of three entities that came before Banning City Council’s Tuesday night agenda seeking token lease agreements.

A renewal agreement that was continued to the next council meeting for the Banning Sportsman’s Club calls for $1 year annual lease; and a $1 per month agreement was proposed in a series of terms of agreement for New Energy North America, LLC, which plans to build a green 500 megawatt battery storage system with the intent of supplying low-cost energy to the city and other entities that would benefit residents via lower electricity costs.

The term sheet for New Energy North America, which has an address in Valley Center, was approved.

Mayor Daniela Andrade agreed that bringing animal control services in-house is “a huge benefit to the community,” and emphasized that it also offers huge savings to the city, which the county had warned was going to raise rates for animal control services it offered Banning from $14,000 a month to $27,000 a month, that would have surpassed $350,000 annually — and the county would still have benefited from keeping impounding fees and penalties related to its services.

The 2,499 square-foot shelter closed in January 2010 after a season of heavy rains and flooding resulted in evacuation of its tenants, which involved transferring of more than 100 animals, including goats and horses, to the Coachella Valley Animal campus in Thousand Palms.

Banning relied on Beaumont to provide animal control services for a few years, until that city informed Banning that its own costs of providing services would increase.

Efforts to revitalize the decrepit facility occurred over a few hot weekends last summer, led by Councilman Kyle Pingree.

Staff Writer David James Heiss may be reached at dheiss@recordgazette.net, or by calling (951) 849-4586 x114.

Staff Writer David James Heiss may be reached at dheiss@recordgazette.net , or by calling (951) 849-4586 x114.

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