Monday: Council to consider exclusive City Hall complex negotiation

July 09, 2004
Santa Paula City Council
By Peggy KellySanta Paula TimesA special meeting of the Santa Paula City Council/Redevelopment Agency will be held Monday, July 12, to consider several issues, including whether or not to consider authorizing an exclusive negotiation agreement for City Hall property.The meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall Council Chambers, 970 E. Ventura St. The meeting will also be broadcast live on cable Channel 10.The council will first meet in closed session to discuss negotiations for the City Hall complex with New Group, interested in developing the property into possibly mixed use retail. City officials are eyeing property near 10th and Main streets for a new municipal complex.In open session Economic Development Director Charmaine Stouder will present a report on extending the exclusive negotiation agreement with New Group for up to 180 days.The council will also consider whether or not to designate a writer or writers for Measures J and K, the public safety funding measure and the separate measure establishing an oversight committee for same.In addition the council will continue their discussion on future uses for the former county fire station on the corner of 8th and Santa Barbara streets.At the July 6 meeting, City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz told the council that “for the past several months we’ve been receiving offers to purchase the property,” which has been spruced up in recent months.Bobkiewicz and Building and Safety Director Steve Stuart suggested that rehabilitation on the building be completed and the structure be leased to public or private groups.
Stuart said the building requires mechanical and electrical improvements including a lift in lieu of an elevator.The costs for finishing the building would be about $270,000.“It’s a critical facility on the bike path,” and work could be done in phases, Stuart added. Stuart noted that he is confident that he would be able to secure grant funding for the rehabilitation.Councilman Ray Luna noted that “in another 30 years this building will be 100 years old. . .there are so many things the could be done, a train or fire museum.”It could be a white elephant and the building’s value should be determined, said Councilman Rick Cook who agreed with Vice Mayor Mary Ann Krause who had requested more information on the issue.“I personally feel that it is a very important building for Santa Paula and would be money well spent,” said Bobkiewicz.“We haven’t done any brainstorming,” on potential building uses, noted Krause, and the real estate market is still strong.

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