Monday, February 25, 2008

County Cuts Vacaville Out of New Building Project

County Cuts Vacaville Out of New Building Project
By Ian Thompson | DAILY REPUBLIC | February 22, 2008

VACAVILLE - Solano County is moving ahead with plans to build the William J. Carroll Government Center on East Monte Vista Street, but without the city of Vacaville's participation.

'The county is now taking the lead,' Solano County spokesman Steve Pierce said.

The Solano County Board of Supervisors will decide Tuesday whether to tell its staff to go ahead with hiring people to design the center and manage its construction.

The county is budgeting $7 million to build the center, but that amount may change as planners better define what the building will look like, Solano County General Services Director Spencer Bole said in a report.

County staff had been negotiating with Vacaville officials for some time about including city-owned land in the project and having the city take part in construction and use of the building.

In 2002, both parties signed a memo of understanding that the facility would be built by the city. A large portion of the building would then be leased to the county.

Plans on who will do what changed during talks since then. Those talks failed to bear fruit this year, and the supervisors told county staff on Feb. 5 to terminate negotiations.

County officials dedicated the site at the intersection of Brown Street and East Monte Vista Avenue in 2006 and announced it would be named after Carroll, the longtime Vacaville mayor and county supervisor. Carroll died in 2003.

If all goes well, the new center will be built and become a central site for county health and social services for north county residents in three to five years, according to the County Architect's office.

Vacaville intended to use a portion of Carroll building for a new home for its Housing and Redevelopment Agency, which is presently located on Eldridge Avenue.

The city is now tentatively considering building its own facility on land it owns next to the county center site to give the Housing and Redevelopment Agency new offices to replace its older, cramped quarters.

The Vacaville Police Department's FIRST Program, which deals with domestic violence, may also be housed there, City Manager David Van Kirk said.

A new Opportunity House homeless shelter had been considered for that location. In light of what has happened, the city is considering finding another site for it.

Vacaville's Redevelopment Agency wants to move the Opportunity House from Catherine Street to make way for the neighborhood's redevelopment into a mixed use project.

The City Council will discuss the matter and give Van Kirk direction during the closed session portion of the council meeting Tuesday night.

Reach Ian Thompson at 427-6976 or at

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