Calistoga and Napa County Reach Tentative Agreement on Napa County Fairgrounds
Image: David Stoneberg/Star File Photo, Napa Valley Register
Napa County and the City of Calistoga have tentatively reached an agreement whereby the City of Calistoga would purchase 34. 4 acres of the 70.6 acre Napa County Fairgrounds property. The City will pay $225,000 per acre for a portion of the property including the Calistoga Speedway, Calistoga RV Park, Pavilion, Butler Pavilion, Tubbs Building, Cropp Building and great lawn. Napa County will retain ownership of the remaining 36.3 acre portion of property which includes Mount St. Helena Golf Course and the Tucker Building.
Napa County Board of Supervisors Chair Brad Wagenknecht said, “This is a mutually beneficial situation for Napa County and the City of Calistoga. The Board of Supervisors recognizes the importance of the Fairgrounds to continue serving public uses for current and future generations. We are extremely confident this is a great decision for all Napa County residents, particularly for those living in Calistoga. All our community will continue to enjoy the benefits of this property.”
The Mayor of Calistoga, Chris Canning, is also optimistic about the potential sale. Canning said, “While it was the City's desire to acquire the entire 70 acre parcel, we recognize and appreciate this unique opportunity to secure this property for the benefit of Calistogans for decades to come. We will always welcome our friends and neighbors from throughout Napa County and beyond to continue to enjoy events and activities hosted on this historic property. We can now move forward with discussions on how best to simultaneously preserve and utilize the grounds for the greatest benefit to Calistoga.”
Additionally, City Council Member Jim Barnes wishes residents to know that “after two years of long and sometimes arduous negotiations it is heartening the City and County were able to come together to find a solution which will be to the mutual benefit of both parties but more importantly, to the benefit of all citizens of Napa County. This is a rare event, a win for all parties.”
Mayor Canning and Council Member Barnes were appointed by the Calistoga City Council to participate on a Fairgrounds ad hoc Council subcommittee since October 2016. Under the terms of the tentative agreement, Napa County shall deliver a draft of the Purchase & Sale Agreement (Draft PSA) to the City of Calistoga within 14 days. The parties will then work on a mutually acceptable PSA that will be presented to the Board of Supervisors and City Council for final approval. The City of Calistoga will have 120 days, from the date of a fully executed PSA to review all entitlements for intended use. This Due Diligence Period allows the City of Calistoga to make any and all inspections, investigations, tests, surveys and appraisals of the property.
The Napa County Fair Association is excited about this new chapter in the 80+ year legacy of the Napa County Fairgrounds and have restructured our organization for a continued role in the fairgrounds’ future.” says Fair Association Board Chairperson Karan Schlegel. “This new chapter will include a new board, new vision, and opportunities that support the county fairgrounds as a public gathering place for future generations by fundraising for facility and program enhancements. Part of the Association’s plans are to preserve future State funding sources that already exist for the Network of California Fairgrounds by continuing to host county fair events on the grounds.