Gibson Ranch Management to Stay Under Ose

Carmichael, CA (MPG)  |  Story and Photo by Jacqueline Fox
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Ose said Tuesday he is very pleased with the board’s decision, which essentially gives his company a year-to-year contract to manage the park.

The County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday unanimously approved a management contract for former Congressman Doug Ose to continue overseeing Gibson Ranch, ending months of negotiations over the fate of the 325-acre nature preserve.

Ose said Tuesday he is very pleased with the board’s decision, which essentially gives his company, GRP 211, LLC (GRP) a year-to-year contract to manage the park. The agreement will stay in place for four years and carry an option for annual extensions of up to four additional one-year terms, with a 90-day notification to terminate.

The new agreement with Ose shifts a significant portion of operational costs to the county, a win for Ose, who was granted a five-year renewable lease to manage the park in 2011, but announced plans earlier this year to pull out unless the county could renegotiate an agreement to offset what he said was amounting to out-of-pocket losses of roughly $20,000 a month due to rising labor costs.

Under the terms of the agreement, the county will take over roughly $110,500 in annual operating costs for Gibson Ranch, including an estimated $53,000 for utilities, including sewer and water quality certification; between $5,000 and $7,000 to maintain and repair the wells on the property, and provide Ose with a $50,000 annual contribution toward reimbursements for capital improvements and deferred maintenance.

An original request by Ose to raise additional revenue through a hike in the park’s entry fee from $5 to $8 was not something the entire board would support. The hike was removed from Ose’s proposal and the entry fee will not be raised, Ose said.

County Supervisor Sue Frost, who was among those opposing the entry fee hike, called the agreement a “rare win for everyone involved.”

“The county gets to have a jewel of a park for a smaller price than everything comparable in the county, and the residents of the community get to continue enjoying the park for the same fee as they are used to paying,” Frost said. “I’m extremely pleased with how this worked out.”

The new agreement also calls for the county to install an automatic pay station in the park, which could net the county additional revenue of between $7,000 and $10,000 annually.