Ocean View Property Sale
US Coast Guard may off-load some of its local property to city of Monterey.
Thursday, January 26, 2006
The US Coast Guard may sell some of its valuable real estate to the city of Monterey. According to City and Coast Guard officials, one option on the table is an unprecedented transaction that would allow the Coast Guard to reinvest proceeds from the sale of its property between Lighthouse and Foam to its other local facilities, including the pier.
“The Coast Guard has asked us if we’d have any interest in creating a project concept,” says Monterey City Manager Fred Meurer. “They would use the value of their property to facilitate the construction, maintenance and improvement of needed facilities.”
Meurer says that the plan would consolidate the Coast Guard’s current holdings at the breakwater below Foam Street and on the pier.
According to Lt. Todd Moe, executive officer of Coast Guard Station Monterey, the proposal is being discussed at Maintenance and Logistics Command Pacific (MLCP) in Alameda.
“It’s going to be managed above our level,” Moe says. “We don’t have much of a say in the matter here at the station.” Phone calls to William Riggs of the MLCP were not returned before press time.
But before any money could change hands, says Meurer, the City would
need to work with Rep. Sam Farr’s office to obtain legislative authority to buy the property.
“We will be talking about it in closed session to determine whether there is City interest,” Meurer says.
Meurer points out that the sale is a ways from being a done deal and that the City, as of yet, has no plans for the “very valuable property.”
“Someone has an idea, but it’s against the law,” Meurer said, “so we change the law.” He said it’s not unlike the City’s unique contract with the Defense Language Institute, in which the
City provides base operations support, such as road maintenance and landscaping, saving the Department of Defense about $4 million a year.
“It’s a very creative Coast Guard group saying there is a better way to improve our facility than the traditional congressional appropriations,” Meurer says. “The Coast Guard is managed by Homeland Security and we all know that Homeland Security has far more projects than they have funds for these days.”
Acres of organic farmland in Monterey County as of 2004, about 6 percent of the roughly 240,000 total acres of farmland in the county. Source: Bob Roach, Monterey County Assistant Ag Commissioner