Santa Clarita City Councilman Frank Ferry said he was caught off guard by a decision from the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors to place options on land outside the city limits for the location of a new sheriff’s station and courthouse.
“Not to receive a call from a Supervisor as an elected official and or not have the 5th District call our city manager to even let us know there was such a vote or a discussion to be done today is very disheartening,” said Ferry.
As KHTS and SCVNews.com reported Tuesday, the new Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s station and Los Angeles County Courthouse moved one step closer to reality after the Board of Supervisors approved the terms and conditions of two new option agreements.
Approval allows the county to secure an option to purchase just over 12 acres of unimproved land from Newhall Land located in the unincorporated Castaic Junction area at Interstate 5 and Highway 126.
The Board of Supervisors agenda had been posted on February 9 and was not the first indication of the Castaic Junction location.
Affronted, Ferry emphasized the $20 million spent on the contract with the LASD.
“For us not to be in the discussion when we are their largest city contract and to think that it’s okay not to enter into that discussion with us as city leaders in their county to move our money and our assets and resources west of the 5 is just blatantly wrong,” Ferry said.
City Manager Ken Pulskamp he too was taken aback that the city was not consulted. However he focused primarily on the language of the Board’s decision which said the Castaic Junction location would serve the growing unincorporated area as well as the city.
“And goes on to say that the completion of the proposed transaction structure will enable the county to acquire the site for the future regional sheriff’s station that will be located in the center of the growing Santa Clarita Valley,” said Pulskamp.
Pulskamp then presented a map to the camera recording the meeting. He showed the location of the new sheriff’s station.
“The site that has been proposed is way over here. Even the current site is a little bit further west than where the station would ideally would be. And most of the people, the largest section of the community lives in Canyon Country,” said Pulskamp.
The City Manager then proposed a scenario where a call would come from Canyon Country and the Sheriff’s deputies would have to respond from Castaic Junction.
“It would be a very long time to get to the far end of the valley,” Pulskamp said.
Pulskamp tried to mollify the council’ concerns by saying he’s already spoken to Sheriff Lee Baca.
“He is not supportive of the location,” said Pulskamp.
The City Manager suggested the issue be placed on an upcoming agenda and that Supervisor Antonovich’s office was interested in having a dialogue.
In other city council business the council members voted unanimously to approve the consent calendar which involved the following issues:
CITIZEN’S OPTION FOR PUBLIC SAFETY (COPS) GRANT – FISCAL YEAR 2011-2012
The city council accepted the grant from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department – Santa Clarita Valley Station to use the $335,833 in funds to continue funding the COBRA Team.
AWARD CONTRACT FOR TRANSPORTATION DEVELOPMENT PLAN UPDATE
The city council approved the appropriation of funds in the amount of $148,571 for the project which will update the long-range transit needs study, completed November 2006, that will project future service requirements. The Transportation Development Plan (TDP) Update is intended to present the service needs and corresponding financial plan necessary to meet projected needs. The TDP will encompass a ten year period, covering Santa Clarita Transit’s fiscal years 2013 to 2023.