Wednesday, December 13, 2006

County Seeks Money to Study Collinville Campus

County Seeks Money to Study Collinville Campus
By Barry Eberling

FAIRFIELD - Tiny, remote Collinsville through the decades has been proposed as the site for a San Francisco-sized city, a deep water port, a chemical plant and an atomic power plant.

The county Board of Supervisors could play a role in exploring the latest idea - putting a California State University campus there.

Supervisors voted Tuesday to seek $250,000 in federal funds to help study the issue. They did so as part of a larger federal appropriations strategy that seeks $30 million for a variety of projects.

"The county is interested in exploring the possible economic development opportunities that may exist in Collinsville - particularly when coupled with a CSU campus," a county memorandum said.

But Supervisor Barbara Kondylis voiced some misgivings about the proposed Collinsville transformation.

"This has not been discussed by the county as a policy issue and it's a large policy issue," Kondylis said.

Collinsville is a town of a few dozen people located at the confluence of the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers. It's only about four miles from the sprawling cities and bright lights of Contra Contra county, but those are on the other side of the water and seem a world away. The Solano County side around Collinsville is marshland and miles of rolling hills.

But, remote as Collinsville is, it has a potential deep water port. That has fed the dreams for development through the years. Solano County has the land zoned as industrial, in case the port ever becomes a reality.

One Vision Park of San Francisco has worked on development plans for about 2,700 acres in the area. It has the right to buy land there from the Sacramento Municipal Utility District, which has put up electricity generating wind turbines nearby.

An idea is to turn the area into a "green energy" center, with solar panels in the hills and tide devices in the water, county Supervisor Mike Reagan said. Other ventures in the area could include the deep water port and the California State University. Reagan noted that enrollment at the existing university campuses is growing.

One Vision Park approached the university system about building a research/classroom/laboratory facility at Collinsville. Elvyra F. San Juan, the system's vice chancellor of capital planning, design and construction, wrote back in September 2005 expressing interest.

The university would need to acquire 100 acres and could do so through a gift, San Juan wrote. An endowment could be set up to pay for the initial facility. A university foundation could be a limited partner in development related to the university's educational mission, such as port tug and barge operations, marine transportation and recycling plant operations, the letter said.

The system's California Maritime Academy in Vallejo is one of only seven degree-granting maritime academies in the nation and the only one on West Coast, San Juan wrote.

"Therefore, (the academy) would be very interested in all aspects of the wharf operation," San Juan wrote.

Kondylis is among those who has suggested changing the zoning at Collinsville to agriculture. She questioned whether such infrastructure as roads, water and sewer can be extended to Collinsville at a reasonable cost.

Reach Barry Eberling at 425-4646 Ext. 232 or at

Solano's Got It!

Solano's Got It!
The Best That Northern California Has To Offer.

Blog Archive