Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Rio Vista Gets LAFCO Approval for Army Center Annexation

Rio Vista Gets LAFCO Approval for Army Center Annexation
By Barry Eberling

FAIRFIELD - Rio Vista got approval Monday to grow by 28 acres - but it's a key 28 acres.

The Local Agency Formation Commission unanimously approved Rio Vista's request to annex the former U.S Army Reserve Center along the Sacramento River. The city plans to turn the abandoned property into a Delta research center and community recreation area.

A Delta research station would help the Bay-Delta Science Consortium monitor the health of the Delta. The consortium is an association of state and federal agencies, non-profit groups and universities.

Such a research center would bring 150 to 200 jobs to Rio Vista.

Rio Vista is negotiating with such agencies as the state Department of Water Resources to move the project forward. City Community Development Director Thomas Bland said the city needed regulatory authority over the land.

Rio Vista took ownership of the 28 acres from the federal government in 2003. But the land remained in the unincorporated county and subject to county regulation.

A preliminary development agreement and lease for the Delta center could be worked out in six months to eight months, Bland said.

The research center could take up about 10 acres of the 28 acres. Rio Vista could use the remainder for such things as ball fields and a city boat launch.

The land is located east of Beach Drive at the southern end of city limits.

Sitting as the LAFCO Board were Chairman John Saunderson, Suisun City Mayor Jim Spering, Benicia Mayor Steve Messina and county Supervisors Duane Kromm and Barbara Kondylis.

Reach Barry Eberling at 425-4646 Ext. 232 or at beberling@dailyrepublic.net.

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