Wednesday, April 06, 2005

City of Fairfield approves land deal with Solano County

Article Last Updated: Wednesday, Apr 06, 2005 - 12:15:13 am PDT

Fairfield soldifies its half of land deal

By Ian Thompson

FAIRFIELD - The Fairfield City Council sewed up its half of the land swap that will give the city the old Assessor/Recorder's office and a lease on the Courthouse Annex while selling the county the Fairfield post office site.

The council Tuesday approved selling Solano County the Fairfield post office site on Kentucky Street, which the city owns and which the U.S. Postal Service expects to vacate by 2011.

Council members also approved buying the now-vacant two-story Solano County Assessor/Recorder's Office at 701 Texas St. which Fairfield plans to sell to a developer to turn into a mixed-use development.

Fairfield is paying $950,000 for the Assessor/Recorder's Office, while the county is paying $1.8 million for the post office, half in cash and half in a promissory note.

They agreed to lease the courthouse annex - north of Texas Street, next to the old courthouse building - from the county for $1 a year. The building will be torn down and the land used as an interim parking facility for the proposed mixed-use development.

The leasing of the annex was part of a deal that has Fairfield paying Solano County $34,793 a year for maintenance and Downtown Business Association event use of the plaza in front of the new County Government Center.

Fairfield also agreed to pay $107,912 a year to provide security for the county garage and the plaza during evenings and weekends.

The city plans to raze the Assessor/Recorder's Office. City officials are talking with a local developer who owns the vacant bank building next door about plans to turn all that into a three-story, mixed-use development.

Solano County wants the post office as a site where it can store its vehicles.

Fairfield has long tried to get the post office to move out of its inadequate, cramped quarters. The Redevelopment Agency bought the old Fairfield Bowl on North Texas Street two years ago with plans to raze the building and have the Postal Service build a new post office on that site. But Postal Service budget problems killed that idea. An improved financial outlook now has the Postal Service looking for other possible sites in the area.

The council was unanimously supportive of the agreement, saying it will help city efforts to economically revitalize the downtown.

"This is the culmination of a historic agreement," Vice Mayor Harry Price said of the talks that have gone on since the inception of the County Government Center proposal.

The Solano County Supervisors approved earlier in the day the agreement regarding the leasing of the Courthouse Annex, the use of the plaza and providing security for the plaza and garage.

Supervisors are expected to vote on the sale of the Assessor/Recorder's Office and the purchase of the Post Office site at their April 12 meeting.

Reach Ian Thompson at 427-6976 or at

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