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Ventura to Issue Bid Packets for Controversial Cross Site

Buyer would have the right to keep the structure while maintaining public access to the property.

August 15, 2003|From a Times Staff Writer

Seeking to avoid a lawsuit, Ventura officials beginning Monday will issue packets to anyone interested in bidding on a one-acre Grant Park site that includes a controversial 24-foot wooden cross.

A group called Americans United for the Separation of Church and State has argued that the cross -- at the edge of the hilltop park above downtown -- is a religious symbol unsuitable for public property.

The City Council voted to offer the cross, dating from 1942, and the land around it to the highest bidder, who would have the right to keep the structure. The site must be kept as open space accessible to the public.

The minimum bid is $10,000. Bid packets will be available from the city clerk's office at City Hall, 501 Poli St., Room 204.

Bidders are invited to inspect the property at 9 a.m. Sept. 5. Bids are due by 5 p.m. Sept. 22. The bids will be publicly opened at the council's 7 p.m. meeting on the same day.

For more information, call Amy Albano at 654-7806.

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