This press release was emailed to me while I was on the road, but I can still post remote from the parking lot of Newcastle Produce. Eat your heart out George Rebane!
Today, after six years of on-and-off negotiations, the City of Nevada City will take title to Sugarloaf, the promontory that has always graced the town as its backdrop.
In 2004, Friends of Sugarloaf was formed with the goal of protecting Sugarloaf Mountain as public open space. The group was formed by Liz Ely, Laurie Oberholtzer, Charles Woods, and Bob Wyckoff. Their first action was to ask Nevada City to set aside State Proposition 40 recreation bond funds of $379,000 to purchase the 32 acre mountain. Next, they asked the City to request that County recreation mitigation fees in the Nevada City impact zone be set aside to add funds to the potential purchase. Mayor Conley Weaver and Councilman David McKay spearheaded the efforts to secure the funds. Each and every City Council since has diligently pursued moving forward on the project while protecting the needed funds.
With Laurie Oberholtzer as Coordinator and 200 members strong, Friends of Sugarloaf spent the next 6 years working with the property owners and the City towards a successful sales agreement. With the deadline for expenditure of State Proposition 40 grant funds looming, Nevada City successfully negotiated a $450,000 sales agreement in the spring of 2010. After a series of bumps, including 5 sessions in probate court, an escrow finally opened in December, 2010 which allowed the State to disburse the funds. A bridge loan of $71,000 was provided by the Nevada County Land Trust to make up the balance and the City will apply to the County for its recreation mitigation fees to repay the loan to the Land Trust.
Said Oberholtzer, “It was a nail biter all the way to the end, but it was worth the stress, the suspense, and the wait. We want to thank, in particular, the property owners, George and Marison Mull and Kriss Halpern for their foresight in selling the property to Nevada City to be preserved as open space. Their representative Andy Cassano was extremely helpful. The city staff, particularly Gene Albaugh, Hal DeGraw, and Bill Falconi all put their hearts and energy into the final negotiations which were complex, to say the least.”
“Sugarloaf is a powerful and important presence, the backdrop to our beautiful town. Now it will be protected forever and the magnificent 360 degree view of Nevada City and its surroundings will be available for all to enjoy,” she concluded.