Staff recommended that the council reject proposals from East Diablo Youth Soccer League (EDYSL), Homeless Animal Lifeline Organization (HALO), and n-2-GREAT, an all-abilities integrated family “edutainment” center, as the proposals didn’t meet the city’s vision for the property. However, while none of those proposals were considered feasible at this time, staff will work with the three applicants to see if suitable arrangements can be reached.
Representatives from EDYSL, HALO and n-2-GREAT were invited to the city’s Strategic Plan Meeting, scheduled for April 18 at the former YMCA property at 1250 O’Hara Ave., where the council, staff and community will discuss various city projects and collaborate on solutions to ongoing issues such as what to do with the O’Hara property.
Councilwoman Pat Anderson encouraged EDYSL, HALO, and n-2-GREAT to come to the meeting with fresh ideas about how to best utilize the property, which includes five buildings on six acres of land. The city is currently using one of the buildings for recreation classes but would like to offer the other buildings for community use, renting the buildings to local organizations.
“My thoughts are reject (the proposals) politely,” Anderson said. “Thank you but these proposals are not quite fitting what we believe is the appropriate use (for the property) because we need to use it, too. It’s not just handing it off. It’s how are we going to jointly work together with this.”
Anderson said she hopes the property will be used for after-school programs, daycare, and senior citizen programs. She also suggested that one of the buildings could be rented out as a meeting space, as the city’s other community meeting location, the White House, is booked solid.
Vice Mayor Kevin Romick said the proposals seemed to lack an understanding of what the city was looking for, but Councilman Randy Pope believes the community might have a limited understanding of how to properly respond to a Request for Proposals (RFP) and suggested that the city or chamber of commerce offer some type of educational workshop to help local businesses and community organizations better understand the RFP process.
While the RFPs were incomplete, Romick said the city should not completely reject the proposals but rather work with the organizations to find areas of compromise.
City Manager Bryan Montgomery agreed. With staff assistance, some of the proposals gain merit, but the buildings would be rented to the organization as a way to pay for the property’s utilities. “Having a tenant or two for office space or daycare or otherwise will help us pay the bills,” he said. “That is going to be the issue in whatever we determine here. So there may be an opportunity that these very applicants or others will be able to use a portion to help us cover the utilities at the least.”
HALO President Tamera Reed and EDYSL Director of Fields Zak Harris addressed the council, thanking staff for reviewing the proposals and looking forward to working with staff to create more acceptable proposals to present at the Strategic Planning meeting.
For more information about the Strategic Planning meeting, call 925-625-7000.