Saturday, 04 February 2023

Mendocino College hopes to make offer on Lakeport property

LAKEPORT – Mendocino College officials are awaiting an appraisal before making an offer on property that would be the future home of the college's Lake County Center.


Mendocino College officials are looking seriously at 31-acre parcel located at 2565 Parallel Drive in Lakeport and owned by Tom Adamson, a Scottsdale, Ariz.-based developer who has proposed building a 130-lot subdivision on the site, as Lake County News as reported.


Measure W, a 67.5 million passed by voters in November 2006, sets aside $15 million for the college to purchase land, and begin improvements and building, college President and Superintendent Kathy Lehner told Lake County News in the fall.


The college Board of Trustees, at its Jan. 9 meeting, indicated its desire to move forward with the purchase, said Lehner.


As soon as the appraisal is completed – which she said should be within the next few weeks – “We are going to move forward with making that offer,” said Lehner.


Lehner said this week that buying land for a new center wouldn't be possible without the bond, especially in the current state fiscal crisis.


This week Lehner also had to meet with state officials to assess the college's fiscal situation.


“This is worse than last year,” said Lehner, comparing the current situation to five years ago.


It's still too early to be entirely certain of how Mendocino College will be affected, Lehner said.


That's largely because there are months of budget haggling to go through between the Legislature and the governor.


If cuts proposed in the current draft of the governor's budget went through, Lehner said financial aid, CalWORKS – which offers temporary financial support to families with minor children – and programs for students needing academic help and for single mothers would suffer.


She added that the college can anticipate no cost of living increase next year, a challenge as the college's expenses continue to rise.


An example: the college's health insurance costs have historically risen 13 percent a year, Lehner explained.


One way of giving themselves some breathing room is by not immediately filling vacant jobs, said Lehner.


College officials are scheduled to meet with staff Friday morning in Ukiah to discuss the fiscal challenges ahead.


Lehner suggested the year ahead isn't going to be an easy one, fiscally speaking. “It's not going to be pretty.”


E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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