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Media Coverage
An Agreement On Point Molate
April 13, 1998



Monday, April 13, 1998
Section: news
Page: A03
Kate Darby Rauch

RICHMOND The city is poised to become the primary caretaker of the former Point Molate Fuel Depot, in exchange for about $1 million a year from the Navy.

The initial agreement is for a 6-month period, where the city will be paid $366,207 for assuming various caretaking services.

The agreement includes a 2-year extension, with the Navy paying about $1 million a year. Further extensions will be up to negotiation.

The money will be used for a variety of services, including maintaining buildings and infrastructure such as roads, utilities, law enforcement and security.

The majority of services will be contracted out.

While the bulk of the work will be up to the city, the Navy will still maintain a presence at the site, including having a caretaker there and being involved in some maintenance, said Lisa Fasano, Navy spokeswoman.

Richmond city staff and council members said the agreement is routine similar to one drafted between the U.S. Navy and Alameda.

"It's just an interim thing between now and when the city will take over the whole place," said Councilman Tom Butt.

Butt said he assumes the Navy money will sufficiently cover the city's operating costs at the site and doesn't anticipate any surplus.

"The only concern we should have is are we going to get into a situation where we're losing money," he said.

Point Molate shut down operations in September 1995. The city is in the process of negotiating control of the land, either under ownership, a long-term lease or through an agreement with a third party such as a contractor.

The city is considering using the 412-acre Bay-side site for a combination of housing, parks and businesses.

Currently the Navy is conducting an environmental review of the property as well as cleaning up hazardous or contaminated areas.

The timeline of transferring
the land to the city depends on the completion and outcome of these procedures.

The draft environmental review report is estimated to be finished and available to the public by October, Fasano said.

This will be followed by a public comment period with the final report expected by March 1999, she said.

The cleanup, which is being done in several phases, is scheduled for completion by 2003, Fasano said.

The site has 26 large fuel tanks and over 20 miles of pipeline, which will require an extensive cleanup, she said. The 1998 Navy budget for the work is $4.6 million.

The city may be able to take over parts of the site before the entire cleanup is finished, she said.

Point Molate was established in the early 1940s and used as a fuel storage area or "tank farm" for naval vessels.