The non-partisan group Bass Lake Action Committee’s claim the county could thwart El Dorado Irrigation District’s plan to sell surplus land, including Bass Lake, to Rescue Union School District has been clarified.
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The county currently owns 41 acres of land near Bass Lake. A move to buy more from EID would be a consolidation move, yet county negotiator Russ Fackrell denied Bass Lake Action Committee’s claim in an e-mail.
“The county is not interested in purchasing this property,” Fackrell wrote. “We currently own 41 acres adjacent to this property and that has been the extent of our discussion with all parties.”
At the Feb. 11 El Dorado County Board of Supervisors meeting the supervisors unanimously voted to enter into negotiations to purchase the Bass Lake property from the El Dorado Irrigation District, according to the Bass Lake Action Committee in its March newsletter.
“The Parks Division of the Chief Administrative Office recommended that the board consider authorizing the department to enter into negotiations with the El Dorado Irrigation District, the owner of parcel 115-400-12-100 at 3240 Bass Lake Road, for the purchase of 151.70 acres; and appointing Russ Fackrell as the real estate negotiator on behalf of the county for the negotiation,” the newsletter states. “The funding would be from the General Fund, and the fiscal impact is unknown at this time. The Facilities Division will initiate negotiations. The county contact will be Vickie Sanders of the Chief Administrative Office.
The procedural motion was made by Supervisor Nutting, seconded by Supervisor Briggs to approve the item, and the vote was five ayes: Briggs, Santiago, Mikulaco, Veerkamp and Nutting.”
As for why the meeting minutes indicate the county is interested in buying the land, Fackrell explained, “Very simply, we needed board direction on their position to acquire or work in conjunction with the El Dorado Hills Community Services District and Rescue Union School District.”
“Rescue Union School District and EID are still in negotiations on the Bass Lake property,” said Rescue Union Superintendent David Swart when reached by phone.
Swart said the school district is interested in purchasing 60 acres of land surrounding the lake (minus the maintenance yard) with categorized funding.
“We have funding that’s specific to the acquisition of new school sites and modernization,” said Swart. “That funding is generated only for those purposes. There would be no impact on the General Fund. That money would be sitting there for that purpose and that purpose alone.
“We won’t be building a school there any time soon,” Swart continued, “but when we do we’d like to see maybe a really nice state of the art technology and environmental magnet … something that utilizes the lake and gives our kids 21st century skills.”
Even if a new school site doesn’t happen for years, Swart said there are plans to utilize the area in the meantime, though they’re still at an informational stage in negotiations.
“Even if we don’t build, it would make a great outdoor education program. We see some wonderful possibilities,” Swart said. “The goal has always been to build a park in that area.”