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Supervisors Decide On Jamestown Parking Lot

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Sonora, CA– The Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors decided on the purchase of a Jamestown parking lot.

Back in 1987, Tuolumne County secured the parking space around Rocca Park by purchasing .2 acres, leasing an additional .2 acres, and constructing a 35 space parking lot with driveways. The County entered into a lease with John and Ernie Viglienzoni involving 28 of the 35 parking spaces.

Since the second lease was expired in 2009, the County has been negotiating with the Viglienzoni’s to determine a fair price to purchase the parking lot. Two appraisals were completed which placed varying valuations on the property. The agreed upon price was $193,803 which is a reflection of the location and desirability of the parking lot.

During this week’s supervisors meeting, District 2 Supervisor Randy Hanvelt voted against the purchase and said, “In the budget crisis this looks unnecessary and inappropriate. I’m all for economic development generally, but I’m also for making sure that the County survives and does the right thing. Some tough choices have to be made and I can’t support it.”

Board Chair and District 5 Supervisor John Gray was in favor of the purchase and said, “You can’t have it both ways. You’re either going to be for economic development or you’re not. We are in hard economic times but the value of that piece of property to the businesses in Jamestown is great. Not having that is shooting yourself in the foot for economic development.”

Although Supervisors Liz Bass, John Gray and Dick Pland agreed that purchasing the parking lot would stimulate economic development, Supervisors Randy Hanvelt and Evan Royce disapproved due to budget concerns. The parking lot purchase was rejected because it failed to receive the 4/5 majority of needed votes for approval.

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