The Beaumont-Cherry Valley Recreation and Park District has assumed the remaining 12 years of Riverside County’s 1931 lease of Bogart Park, effective January 1.
The Riverside County Board of Supervisors approved the transfer of 220 acres of land to the park district at its Dec. 11 meeting, said Kyla Brown, assistant director of Riverside County’s Regional Park and Open Space District.
The decision for the transfer came because a decision had to be made whether to continue to invest in Bogart Park or look for partners to continue operating the park, Brown said.
The cost for running Bogart Park each year is $150,000. Brown said that funding came from a variety of sources. Approximately $68,000 was generated from property taxes used to fund Bogart Park, Gilman Ranch and the San Timoteo Canyon Schoolhouse.
One hundred percent of the entry fees into Bogart Park went toward operations. The entry fee is $10 per vehicle for day entry and $30,000 to $50,000 is generated from entry fees, camping fees and special event fees, Brown said.
The Open Space district also was using general fund money, which included fees collected at other parks throughout Riverside County.
The county’s deficit in running the park was averaging $75,000 a year over the past 10 years, Brown said.
A task force was formed to assess the park and make recommendations for its operations and to create an agreement with the Beaumont- Cherry Valley Water District and the park district to maintain Bogart Park.
The water district owns 220 acres and the county of Riverside owned 80 acres.
Brown said the 99-year lease was for the 220 acres and that the water district was “okay with the park district taking over operations.”
The 80-acre parcel was given to the park district with an operating agreement of three years, said Duane Burk, general manager of the park district.
The county of Riverside will pay the park district $100,000 a year, for three years, to operate Bogart Park.
Burk said that he attended the Dec. 11 board of supervisors meeting, along with Mickey Valdivia, a legislative aide to retired supervisor Marion Ashley and park and recreation district board president John Flores and vice president Dan Hughes.
Burk said some members of the community questioned why the park district would want to take on Bogart Park and operate it locally.
“We, as the park district, think we can do it better because we specialize in parks,” Burk said.
The 80 acres within the park include restrooms, a play area, a lake and a parking lot.
The other 200 acres are used by the Boy Scouts and the Girl Scouts and campers and Burk said the park district wants to communicate with these groups about Bogart Park.
“We want to reach out to them and find out what their uses are,” Burk said.
The park district also wants to maintain a good relationship and stay in touch with the Beaumont-Cherry Valley Water District.
Among the improvements that will be made is getting the operating gate in use so that visitors can pay the $10 entry fee with cash.
Currently, Bogart Park is manned Friday through Sunday so visitors can pay in person at the gate.
Burk said that the county will help the park district with the transition for a year.
Bogart Park currently has three caretakers and volunteers, who will remain on staff.
The lease agreement for Bogart Park has been in the works since the first meeting in July 2015. But Burk said that the agencies are collaborating with one another on the project.
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