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County supervisors to vote on new management for veterans halls

  • 9/20/2005: B1: A flea market takes up most of the parking lot at the Santa Rosa Veterans Memorial Hall.
    PC: Secondary 3 of 3 -- At the Santa Rosa Veterans Memorial Hall a flea market takes up most of the parking lot at the facility Sunday September 18, 2005. (Press Democrat/ Kent Porter)

Sonoma County supervisors vote today on whether to turn over management of four veterans buildings to two nonprofit groups.

The larger of the two proposals would turn over management of the Santa Rosa, Petaluma and Cotati buildings to United Camps, Conferences and Retreats, a Petaluma-based nonprofit group that runs private recreational sites in Northern California.

River to Coast Children's Services, a Guerneville nonprofit group, would head up a coalition to manage the Guerneville building.

Some veterans groups have expressed reservations about the third-party management of the facilities, in particular fears that they will be given less priority when it comes to scheduling.

County officials say shifting management of the four facilities to the nonprofits will save the county $330,622 this budget year.

United Camps would be granted a five-year concession agreement to operate the Santa Rosa, Petaluma and Cotati facilities with one option to extend the agreement for another five years.

The county would pay a concessionaire's fee to the nonprofit based on a percentage of gross revenue.

The county would eliminate a full-time management and full-time booking clerk position with the changeover, saving the county about $260,000 a year.

The River to Coast group would be awarded a 15-year lease agreement to operate the Guerneville building. The county would reimburse the nonprofit an amount not to exceed $75,000 over the first two years for kitchen improvements and start-up costs.

Officials estimate the county would save $510,000 over the life of the 15-year agreement.

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