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Rescue school district ready to buy Bass Lake

By From page A1 | May 21, 2014

The Board of Trustees for the Rescue Union School District voted unanimously (5-0) to proceed with the purchase of the Bass Lake Property from the El Dorado Irrigation District for the sum of $300,000 during the board’s general meeting on May 13.

“The Bass Lake Property includes approximately 57 acres of land and Bass Lake,” said Rescue Union’s Chief Business and Operations Official Sid Albaugh in an e-mail to Village Life. “Rescue Union School District will acquire Sellwood Field, Bass Lake Dam, Bass Lake and the land surrounding Bass Lake. The El Dorado Irrigation District plans to retain their corporate yard.”

There will be no fiscal impact to the district’s general fund because the district receives special taxes (Mello Roos) from the El Dorado Schools Financing Authority Community Facilities District No. 1 designated for the acquisition and building of a school within the boundaries of the Rescue Union School District, Albaugh explained.

The audited fund balance of the El Dorado Schools Financing Authority Community Facilities District No. 1 for Rescue Union School District as of June 30, 2012, was $3,178,266.

“Rescue Union School District has been searching for a school site in the Bass Lake-Upper Serrano area for over a decade without success,” said Albaugh. “Over a year ago, the district learned EID had an interest to surplus the Bass Lake property and the district informed EID of its interest in purchasing the land for a school site. Since then, the district has been working cooperatively with the El Dorado Hills Community Services District and the county of El Dorado to create a vision for an environmental studies school for the district and a regional park for the community. The district plans to continue to collaborate with the El Dorado Hills CSD and the county of El Dorado to see this vision fulfilled.”

Rescue Union Superintendent David Swart said a new school won’t be built anytime soon but shared a vision for the property. “When we do (build) we’d like to see maybe a really nice state-of-the-art technology and environmental magnet … something that utilizes the lake and gives our kids 21st century skills,” he said. “In the meantime it would make a great outdoor education program for our students to enjoy without having to travel. We see some wonderful possibilities.”

Albaugh said the district still “has many hurdles to overcome and has requested a 120-day escrow period in order to perform its due diligence on the property.”

Next steps include the EID Board placing the item on their June agenda for a vote.

Julie Samrick

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