FAIRFIELD — Solano County will explore what to do with seven properties it no longer uses or will soon no longer use, including key sites in and near downtown Fairfield.
Some are vacant lots, some are lots with buildings. Possibilities range from finding another county use for them to leasing them out to selling them.
“We will be looking at a range of options,” county Architect Kanon Artiche said.
The county Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to have county staff devise a plan for the properties. It considered the issue as part of adopting a five-year county capital facilities plan.
Two properties are at the eastern gateway to Fairfield’s downtown.
One is the former county Hall of Records building at 701 Texas St. This plain, block-like building is empty. The county recently had soil containing gasoline removed from beneath the building by cutting out the interior concrete slab. An auto service store sold gasoline at the site decades ago, leaving behind the pollution.
The other downtown gateway site is the sprawling lawn at Jefferson and Texas streets. The Fairfield farmers market takes place there. Solano County a few years ago tore down the courthouse annex building that stood on the 1.9-acre site and greatly enlarged the lawn.
Another Fairfield site is the old Armijo gymnasium at 501 Texas St. It houses the county Agricultural Department and University of California Cooperative Extension. But the county is to move these uses to a building it owns at 2543 Cordelia Road in 2015.
Artiche said the courts have looked to expand. But whether the courts would want the old gymnasium or the vacant lot next to the old courthouse is unclear.
Finally, there is the vacant 1-acre lot on Broadway Street near the Pacific Gas & Electric Co. substation. This is within Fairfield’s downtown priority development area targeted for more homes and businesses in coming decades.
The lone Vacaville site at 600 Merchant St. has a building that got constructed in 1930 as St. Mary’s Catholic Church. The county District Attorney’s Office several years ago used it for its Rainbow Center program. Renovating the building so the county could reuse it would cost several hundred thousand dollars, the county concluded.
Solano County last year declared this as surplus property and put it up for sale. That raised concern among community members, given the building’s history. In October 2013, the county delayed taking action so Supervisors John Vasquez and Skip Thomson could do more research and community outreach.
Artiche said the county will consult with the jurisdictions where the various properties are located before coming up with recommendations for the sites.
The supervisors’ decision to explore options for the seven properties was part of a larger decision made by the board Tuesday.
Supervisors updated a five-year capital facilities improvement plan that calls for $177 million in building and maintenance projects. Solano County has $91.3 million available, leaving a shortfall of $88.6 million.
Such shortfalls are common for the five-year capital facilities plan. The board updated the plan in 2013 with $201 million in spending and a $106 million shortfall.
This year’s update adds 18 projects, even as other projects get completed. They include creating a land use plan for the Health and Social Services complex along Beck Avenue in Fairfield, replacing an Office of Emergency Services generator at 530 Clay St. in Fairfield and improving the lobby at the Vallejo Health and Social Services building.
The capital facilities plan doesn’t include transportation projects, Nut Tree Airport projects or projects at the county fairgrounds in Vallejo.
“Adoption of the plan does not commit the board to funding particular projects,” Artiche said.
Reach Barry Eberling at 427-6929 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/beberlingdr.
Seven properties the county could sell, lease or reuse