The budget includes $1.2 million from the General Fund for four major and one minor project for the California Conservation Corps. Future cost of the four major projects is $12.5 million.
We withhold recommendation on funding for relocation of the California Conservation Corps satellite facility at the California State University, Northridge, Ventura Off-Campus Center, because insufficient information has been provided regarding the proposed site and facilities.
The California Conservation Corps has operated a residential satellite facility for 22 years on the site of what is now the California State University (CSU), Northridge, Ventura Off-Campus Center in Camarillo. The Ventura Off-Campus Center is located at the former Camarillo State Hospital. The corps facility currently serves about 100 corps members and has been leasing its facility from CSU on a month-to-month basis since the current lease expired at the end of 1998. The corps members provide services annually to CSU at the site in lieu of lease payments. The corps, however, has been notified by CSU that effective June 30, 2003, the corps must leave the Camarillo center. Because of this notification, the corps proposes to construct a new facility on a site adjacent to the California Youth Authority, Youth Correctional Facility in Ventura County. According to the corps, this site is state surplus property that can be transferred to the corps at no cost.
The budget includes $237,000 for preliminary plans for the proposed new facility at the Ventura site. The facility would consist of an administration building, warehouse, hazardous materials storage room, multipurpose room, kitchen and dining room, dormitories, an education and recreation building, and 20,000 square feet of paved service area. The corps has not provided any details on the size or need for the various buildings. According to the corps, however, the cost to complete the project would be an additional $4.8 million.
As discussed above, the basis for constructing a new facility for the corps is CSU's notification that the corps must vacate the Camarillo center property. Consequently, unless CSU allows the corps to remain at the center, other facilities must be provided for the corps. The information submitted in support of the budget request, however, is inadequate. For example, there is no justification for the type of facilities proposed or the amount of space in each facility, there is no clear access to the proposed site, and a valid cost estimate and schedule (including an environmental impact report) for the project has not been prepared. Consequently, pending receipt of additional information, we withhold recommendation on this project.
We withhold recommendation on funding for relocation of the California Conservation Corps satellite facility at the California State University, Stanislaus, Stockton Off-Campus Center, to a leased site owned by the East Bay Municipal Utility District in San Joaquin County because (1) it is not clear that it is necessary for the corps to vacate the Stockton Off-Campus Center location at a cost of $5.1 million and (2) insufficient information has been provided regarding the proposed site and facilities.
The corps has operated the Delta Service District residential facility on the site of what is now CSU, Stockton Off-Campus Center for 15 years. The center is on the site of the former Stockton State Hospital. The corps houses about 110 corps members in facilities it leases under an agreement with CSU that expires in September 2000. The corps members provide services annually to CSU at the site in lieu of lease payments.
The corps indicates CSU will not renew the lease and the corps will be required to vacate the center when the lease expires in September 2000. Unlike the situation at Camarillo, however, the Stockton center has not sent the corps written notification that they must vacate the Stockton property. In addition, it is not clear why the center would ask the corps to move. The center has reportedly been experiencing fiscal problems resulting from the lack of lease income from the existing facilities and there is a large amount of space at the center that is excess to the center's current educational program needs. Thus, it is not clear either why the corps would need to move in the foreseeable future or if moving the corps would be in the best interest of the state. If, however, the corps is required to move by September 2000, interim facilities will need to be located because new facilities at the proposed site (discussed below) cannot be available in that time frame.
The corps has identified a potential site if it must move from the Stockton center. The corps has received a letter (dated January 14, 2000) from the East Bay Municipal Utilities District indicating its willingness to negotiate a 15- to 20-year lease with the corps for district property adjacent to Camanche Reservoir in San Joaquin County. The district indicated, however, that the identified site is tentative and that further review, including an environmental assessment, is necessary to determine the feasibility of construction. Consequently, neither the feasibility of the site nor the terms of a lease, including cost, are known. Nevertheless, the budget includes $242,000 for preliminary plans to construct a new facility on the district's site. As is the case for the Camarillo proposal, the corps has provided little information on the scope of the project. Also, a valid cost estimate and schedule (including an environmental impact report) have not been prepared. According to the corps, however, the additional cost to complete the project is $4.8 million.
In view of the issues discussed above, we withhold recommendation on the proposed relocation of the Delta Service District pending information from the corps and the Stockton center that addresses these issues.