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EG City Council votes to move forward on new agreement with Sac zoo | News

Elk Grove City Council voted unanimously on March 23 to approve the feasibility study for the possible relocation and expansion of the Sacramento Zoo to Elk Grove.

If this proposed plan comes true, the 94-year-old zoo would move from its current 14-acre site in Sacramento’s William Land Park to a designated 70-acre portion of a 100-acre site in Elk Grove City. northwest corner of Kammerer Road and Lotz Parkway.

In addition to approving the feasibility study, the city council authorized on March 23 the extension of the city’s exclusive bargaining agreement with the zoo’s current non-profit operator, the Sacramento Zoo (SZS), until May 31.

This extension will allow time for further negotiation and the creation of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the SZS and the City of Elk Grove.

The MOU for this project would represent the agreement of both parties to continue the project by developing a master plan, a detailed construction budget and a financing plan.

As part of the master plan process, opportunities will be presented to the public to provide input.

The MOU will also identify the city of Elk Grove and the potential functions and responsibilities of the Sacramento Zoo for the construction and operation of this proposed Elk Grove Zoo.

Elizabeth Stallard, chair of the zoo’s board of directors, told the board that there is much more work ahead to determine whether the zoo’s new home will be built in Elk Grove.

“We are ready to do whatever it takes to give the animals and people of this region the new zoo they deserve,” he said.

The city of Elk Grove should have a complete environmental review for the proposed zoo site. That review would identify any environmental impacts.

According to the feasibility study of this zoo potential, between $ 29 million and $ 59 million could be generated in private third-party funding for this project. It would take an additional $ 115 million to $ 145 million to build Phase 1 of this project in two phases.

Elk Grove Mayor Bobbie Singh-Allen mentioned that a public-private partnership would be needed to “see this dream come true.”

The economic impact for Elk Grove during the initial five years of its potential zoo would be $ 223 million, and the expenses of visitors and employees associated with the zoo could generate about $ 2.6 million in city sales and tax revenue. of transitional occupation during that period, according to a report by municipal staff. .

It is also estimated that parking revenue from the zoo’s parking lot could generate $ 2 million to $ 4 million a year, the feasibility study notes.

The possible relocation of the Sacramento Zoo to Elk Grove continues with multiple efforts to move the zoo to a larger location within the capital.

These efforts coincide with the zoo’s mission to have animals that it can keep and also to house additional animals that guests are most interested in seeing. An expanded zoo would also provide larger living space for animals and help preserve the accreditation of this zoo with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

Sacramento Zoo director Jason Jacobs stressed the need for a larger zoo.

“A new (bigger) site will allow us to do a lot more for conservation and involve the community even more to make a difference for conservation,” he said.

As part of the Elk Grove Zoo search, the City Council last month unanimously approved a $ 9.5 million purchase agreement for the 100-acre site that includes the designated land for the proposed Elk Grove Zoo.

Deputy Mayor Darren Suen stressed the importance of this land purchase.

“Acquiring this land may not necessarily result in a zoo, but it certainly allows us to continue the conversation,” he said. “Tonight’s decision would be much more difficult if there was no potential for a physical location. So I think buying the land just expands that possibility. It’s not an agreement made in any way.”

Council member Pat Hume addressed the City of Elk Grove’s efforts to move the Sacramento Zoo to Elk Grove.

“When discussions with the city of Sacramento seem to be falling apart, I think we’ve been agile enough to take a step back and say,‘ Look, let’s work with you and try to resolve and give you a home. see if it makes sense, and (Elk Grove) jumped on that deal, “he said.

Hume added that the city of Elk Grove will make “every effort in good faith” to determine whether the zoo can be relocated to Elk Grove.

“This is the first record of many that will have to happen before this is consumed, if you will,” he said.

EG City Council votes to move forward on new agreement with Sac zoo | News Source link EG City Council votes to move forward on new agreement with Sac zoo | News

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