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Roseville purchases property for 'riverfront' development

City will relocate Fire Station No. 1 to open up land along Dry Creek
By: Sena Christian, The Press Tribune
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What city officials call the last piece of the puzzle for Roseville’s future “riverfront” development fell into place Wednesday with the city council’s decision to purchase a property for the new Fire Station No. 1.

Councilmembers voted 4 to 1 in favor of buying a property at 50 Lincoln St. in downtown for a total cost of $400,000. Mayor Pauline Roccucci opposed the item, after asking for it to be removed from the consent calendar for discussion.

The property has been occupied for many years by Roseville Plumbing, a local business owned by the Leak family. The agreement resolves three years of negotiations between the business and the city.

Roseville’s Downtown Specific Plan, approved in 2009, indentifies several parcels located at the intersection of Lincoln and Oak streets as the proposed site for the relocation of the fire station. This was the last parcel needed.

Moving the station currently located at 401 Oak St. opens up land along Dry Creek and allows for a future creek walk and provides space for about 230,000 square feet of development.

Under the terms of the agreement, the city pays $300,000 for the purchase price, provides $20,000 to cover relocation expenses and agrees to a three year rent-free lease with the option to buy out either the final two years or final year of the lease agreement. The Leaks agreed to vacate the premises at the end of the first year.

Assistant City Manager John Sprague said allowing the tenants to remain in the building for one year rent-free benefits the city.

“They will take on all responsibility for the maintenance and management of the property,” Sprague said. “This is an older structure … so the city doesn’t take on any additional costs at this point in time. We thought that was a reasonable accommodation to bring the negotiations to a close and also to acquire the property at a reasonable price.”

Roccucci expressed concern over allowing the tenants to remain in the building for a year without paying rent.

“I know it’s not always easy to work out negotiations but when we’re looking at city money, and also this is fire facilities money, and we’re trying to use money as wisely as we can, (this) is a concern of mine,” Roccucci said.

The future development along Dry Creek is part of the city’s overall vision for revitalizing downtown and Old Town. In August, the council approved 13 projects in those two districts to be completed over the next three years for an estimated cost of $37 million.

Other plans include creation of a town square and amphitheater, changes to pedestrian bridges and infrastructure improvements.

The dissolution of the Roseville Redevelopment Agency Feb. 1 doesn’t put these particular projects at risk, although funding for three pending mixed-use projects may be impacted. These include a housing development, streetscape and roadway improvements in the Vernon Street area, and construction of public parking spots in Old Town.

Investor Joe Mohamed confirmed with the Press Tribune that he purchased the unfinished office building on Oak and S. Grant streets, formerly owned by bankrupt Kobra Properties and Vernon Street Associates LLC, in November. He's beginning work to complete the four-story, 56,000-square-foot building.

The Placer County Clerk-Recorder's Office reports the purchase price of that building as about $2.6 million.

"The purchase of that building is encouraging and we're happy if that gets finished," city spokeswoman Megan MacPherson said. "It's going to be a key component of downtown revitalization."

Here’s a look at some other items approved during the Feb. 15 council meeting:

Dry Creek Greenway Trail project agreement: The city will use a Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Project grant for $456,704 to pay for an additional feasibility analysis, preliminary engineering and environmental documentation for the trail project. The proposed multi-use trail along Dry, Cirby and Linda creeks would begin near Darling Way/Riverside Avenue and continue to the city limits past the Old Auburn Road/S. Cirby Way intersection.

Wastewater manhole rehabilitation call for bids: The city will correct about 62 sanitary sewer manholes that have cracked or deteriorated for a cost of $150,000, which will be paid from the Environmental Utilities Rehabilitation Fund.

Vehicles purchase: The city will purchase three 2012 Ford F250s, one Ford F350 and one Ford F550 for a total cost of $160,520. The cars will go to the police department, environmental utilities wastewater collection division and the public works street maintenance division.

Roseville Firefighters Association memorandum of understanding: Public safety employees represented by the Roseville Firefighters Association will pay 9 percent of the employers’ portion of PERS retirement and miscellaneous employees will pay 8 percent of the employee’s share effective Feb. 25.

The city will continue to report employer-paid member contributions of 9 percent to CalPERS as additional compensation for the public safety employees represented by the Roseville Firefighters bargaining group. This agreement will fix the employer’s contribution to medical premiums at $1,200 per month. This is a one-year agreement and will result in an annual savings of $421,125.

Staffing changes: The city will add four full-time positions, including a central services director, a tree trimmer and two correctional officers for a total fiscal impact of $78,057 for the remaining nine pay periods of the 2012 fiscal year. The addition of the two officers is to improve staffing in the city jail, which was reduced in anticipation of the new Placer County Jail opening in January 2012. The opening has been delayed by more than a year with no new date scheduled.

Sena Christian can be reached at senac@goldcountrymedia.com. Follow her on Twitter at SenaC_RsvPT.