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City Close to Taking Over College Park

March 20, 2000|STACY BROWN

Ventura County is close to turning over ownership of College Park to the city of Oxnard, paving the way for the creation of a multipurpose facility in south Oxnard, city officials said.

City Councilman John Zaragoza said that discussions are underway that would allow the county to relinquish ownership of the 75-acre park, home to the annual Strawberry Festival.

"We've been working with the county for quite a while on this matter, and we're excited about the possibility of taking over the park," Zaragoza said.

Two years ago, the city, which had owned 50 acres of the park, decided to turn over its share to the county for development.

But the cost of maintaining the facility has proved too great for the county, which now wants to transfer full ownership back to the city, Zaragoza said.

"What the county wants to do is get out of all the costs associated with the maintaining of College Park," Zaragoza said. "The cost they now pay far exceeds the revenue the park generates."

Neither Zaragoza nor City Atty. Gary Gillig could put a dollar figure on the cost of the park or what it would take to maintain it.

But the city sees the prospect of owning the park as a coup because it will cost nothing to take it over.

The Ventura County Parks Advisory Committee voted unanimously last week to recommend the transfer of College Park to Oxnard. County supervisors are expected to vote on the commission's recommendation next week.

With full ownership of the park, the city could construct a baseball field, soccer facility or a nine-hole golf course, Zaragoza said.

"There [are] a lot of things we could do," he said. "Whatever is decided about the park, everyone can be sure that the residents of the community will have a lot of input."

Officials said the park could also include a restaurant, lake and swimming pool.

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