Monday, 15 July 2024

News

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The county is offering to purchase the Lucerne Senior Center thrift shop building for $150,000. Photo by Elizabeth Larson.

LUCERNE – The county is working with the Lucerne Senior Center to purchase part of the center's property, an effort the county's top official said is meant to help the center financially. 

Chief Administrative Officer Kelly Cox shared the plan with Lucerne residents at a town hall meeting hosted at the center by Supervisors Denise Rushing on Saturday.


For the past few years the center has struggled with a number of financial issues. Last April, the center asked the Board of Supervisors for a $150,000 loan to help it stabilize its precarious financial situation and allow it to continue serving the community's seniors.


That request didn't go through. Senior center executive board president Jim Swatts explained in a weekend interview that he withdrew the loan request because he feared it would open a “can of worms” for the county, in that other groups might bombard the board with similar fund requests.


“I didn't turn it down because I didn't want it, I turned it down because I didn't want to put the county in that kind of predicament,” Swatts said.


Cox explained in an interview following the town hall meeting that the supervisors put $150,000 in the 2006-07 budget to help the center by taking another approach – buying the center's thrift shop on Country Club and 9th, located next to the main building.


Cox said the county and the center began speaking about the purchase last month, and that the process is now starting.


The plan, said Cox, is to buy the lot containing the thrift shop building and the parking lot behind it. The county would then lease the building and lot back to the center for $1 a year, he said, with the stipulation that the center must make a room available for community meetings.


Swatts said the lease agreement calls for the senior center to rent the thrift shop building for 10 years, with an option for the center to buy the building back at that time for $150,000 or to continue to lease the building for another 10-year period.


Cox said the process to purchase the building will include several steps, such as an appraisal and a public hearing. He expects it to take three months.


“It's going to help eliminate the debt the senior center has,” said Cox, and will allow the county to manage the building in a way that still makes it available to the center.


The $150,000 purchase price, said Cox, will allow the center to catch up on its bills.


The center's current debt load is more than $100,000, Swatts said, but much less than when it went to the board last April.


Once the center has paid off its bills, it needs to pursue some building improvement projects, Swatts said.


Those projects include repairing the building's roof, he said, which has suffered repeated leaks.


There also are plans to remodel the center's kitchen, Swatts said, and enlarge it by converting some office space into additional kitchen area.


“It's a win-win for everybody,” Cox said.


“That's exactly what it is,” Swatts agreed.


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


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LAKEPORT — A Monday meeting to discuss the proposed sale of Konocti Harbor and Spa between Kenwood Investments, the buyer, and Lake County government officials was called off by Kenwood.

 

District 5 Supervisor Rob Brown said a message received at county offices from Kenwood on Friday said only, "'Due to unforeseen circumstances we will not be able to attend the meeting,'" said Brown.

 

Brown was to be joined by County Counsel Anita Grant, County Administrative Executive Kelly Cox and board chair Jeff Smith in representing the county. He said he had assumed that Darius Anderson, lobbyist and owner of Kenwood Investments, would be accompanied by executives Brad Welch and Joe Wallace.

 

Welch represented Kenwood a week earlier when the Lake County board voted 5-0 against Kenwood's establishing a gambling casino at Konocti Harbor upon purchasing the resort from UA Local Convalescent Fund; he left that meeting without comment.

 

Considering that circumstance, Brown was asked what he thought the abrupt cancellation of Monday's meeting indicated.

 

"They didn't show up. I don't know what it means," he said.

 

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

 

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LAKEPORT — While the building gives off only dim lighting to passersby, Molly Brennans has actually been glowing brightly on Main Street in downtown Lakeport since its opening in October.
 
Lakeport's one-and-only Irish pub, Molly Brennans doubles as a family-friendly restaurant that welcomes music, noise, laughter, and the people who provide it. The only policy? "Everyone is welcome," says Stephen Brennan, co-owner of the pub and originally from Dublin.
 

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Musicians perform 'The Lucerne Water Blues' at the town hall meeting. Left to right, Craig Bach, who wrote the song, Paul Frindt and Dave Gilmore. Photo by Elizabeth Larson.

LUCERNE – A capacity crowd gathered at the Lucerne Senior Center Saturday afternoon for a town hall meeting hosted by District 3 Supervisor Denise Rushing.

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Mike Thompson, center, speaks with Kelseyville resident Steve DeVoto at the Napa event. Photo by Nina Marino.

LAKE COUNTY – An event last Sunday celebrated last year's passage of Congressman Mike Thompson's  Northern California Coastal Wild Heritage Wilderness Act, which passed last fall.

LAKEPORT – The city of Lakeport has taken a step forward in its goal of renovating Westshore Pool. 

At its meeting last week, the Lakeport City Council voted to award a bid to Pool Time USA of Pleasanton to begin work on the pool this spring.

Pool Time USA submitted the only bid, for $313,370. The city will pay the company from Measure I proceeds and a $168,000 state grant.

“There is large public support for this project,” City Engineer Scott Harter told the council Feb. 6.

Councilmen Buzz Bruns and Bob Rumfelt voiced their support for awarding the bid and seeing work get started. Both men noted the pool had been in disrepair for several years.

“We've got so much into it we can't let go of it,” said Bruns.

Harter said construction needed to be completed by April 13, in order to allow Lakeport schools and the local swim teams to start training in May.

Councilman Jim Irwin had concerns about the costs for repairs, and made a motion to readvertise for bids in an attempt to change the project scope and bring down costs.

Irwin's motion died for lack of a second, as the rest of the council wanted to move forward.

City Attorney Steve Brookes said getting to this stage in the process was a long time in coming, and he urged the council to award the bid.

The repairs will include making the pool wheelchair accessible and replastering the pool's surface.

Rumfelt said he thought the costs to repair the pool were reasonable when considering that the repairs would, in essence, give the city a new pool. He said other cities building pools are spending in excess of $1 million.

“There's been an awful lot of work to get it to this point,” Rumfelt said.

Bruns made the motion to award the bid. The council voted 4-1 to approve awarding the bid, with Irwin voting no.

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

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