Turlock City News

Turlock City News

Turlock in Talks to Sell War Memorial, Skate Park to TID

David Fransen

The City of Turlock is in talks to sell the sites of both the Turlock War Memorial and the Brandon Koch Memorial Skate Park to the Turlock Irrigation District, city staff recently revealed.

The sale of both facilities is part of closed-door negotiations currently taking place, related to previously-announced negotiations that would sell the Turlock Police Department site to TID.

“Currently, confidential negotiations are taking place,” said Turlock Parks, Recreation, and Public Facilities Manager Allison Van Guilder. “However, we do believe that we are getting close to finalizing an agreement.”

TID's Main Office Building shares a city block – bounded by East Canal Drive, North Palm Street, Starr Avenue, and North Denair Avenue – with the Police Department, Skate Park, and War Memorial, as well as the Stanislaus County-owned former site of Turlock's courthouse.

The City of Turlock announced talks to sell the Turlock Police Department to TID in November 2012. The sale is expected to generate $2.5 million – part of a funding strategy for the the new, $33 million Public Safety Facility under construction at the corner of Broadway and Olive Avenue.

TID General Manager Casey Hashimoto has previously stated that said the district hopes to purchase the Turlock Police Department site to take control of the block for future expansion, and to reduce overcrowding at the district's Broadway operations yard.

During discussions with TID, the scope of the sale evolved to include the Skate Park and the War Memorial, Van Guilder said.

“The way that some of these discussions evolve is just that,” Van Guilder said. “…They evolve.”

The 1.25 acre Brandon Koch Memorial Skate Park is the city's only skate park, and features a grassy area used like a traditional park by scores of nearby residents. Most neighbors of the park live in condos or apartments, without lawns of their own.

The War Memorial is one of of only three Turlock-owned buildings available for public rental, and the only building capable of holding more than 200 people. It routinely hosts weddings, fundraisers, and quinceañeras, and is home to Turlock Recreation camps and classes.

TID officials declined to comment on the sale, or their plans for the properties.

“While the district is talking with the city about properties, this process is ongoing,” said TID spokesperson Herb Smart. “Because the process is ongoing, it would be hasty to discuss potential plans.”

Van Guilder said TID may lease the War Memorial back to Turlock for some period of time after the sale, allowing operations to continue.

But plans are already underway to shutter the Skate Park, removing 1.25 acres of Turlock park land.

“This process is reducing the square footage of parks available in Turlock,” said Parks, Recreation, and Community Programs Commission Chairman Barney Gordon.

The skate park would be likely replaced by a new, more modern skateboarding facility in the heart of Donnelly Park.

Related Articles:
New Brandon Koch Memorial Skate Park Sign Unveiled at Ceremony

Council Votes to Rename Turlock Skate Park to Brandon Koch Memorial Skate Park

Family and Friends of Brandon Koch Visit Parks and Recreation Commission to Request Skate Park be Renamed in His Honor

Friends and Family Petition to Rename Skate Park in the Honor of Brandon Koch Who Recently Died of Cancer

Comments 7

  1. Lisa says:

    Why does TID need that much space?

  2. Sneaky Snakes says:

    TID and the city are sneaky snakes trying to get a deal done without public opinion because they know it is bad that TID is taking away park land and a historic building.

    TID keeps buying things and raises our rates more and more.

    City of Turlock needs money to pay for the $40 million taj mahal new police and fire station so they’ll sell our kids parks. Very bad.

  3. nicke says:

    it makes me sad that they could remove something that has been close to my family for years. 🙁 that skate park is in memory of my brother. he was a frequent goer. and after he passed we put our heart and soul into working to get the park renamed. we did it. and now you want to remove it… we will fight to keep brandons memory alive. and the park forever his.

  4. Common Sense says:

    Why dont they just name the new Skate Park “The Brandon Koch Memorial Skate Park”. It will be in a community park with better restrooms and shade. And I believe the family was notified when the park was being renamed that it had the potential to be moved. Lets not read more into this. The family knew, ask them.

    • Jeeves says:

      Common Sense,

      The issue isn’t about the name of the skate park. The family is responding emotionally and everyone should get that. This bigger issue is the city acting in secret. That doesn’t bother you?

  5. Kelli Hall says:

    If this was a memorial for Colin Kaepernick Turlock would probably rethink selling. Such a shame, Turlock, tisk friggen tisk on you for being so cheap and easy!

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