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Santa Rosa takes first step toward selling property used by food pantry

By KEVIN McCALLUM
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Santa Rosa on Tuesday declared the building used by food pantry Friends in Service Here as surplus property, the first step toward selling the aging 2,400-square-foot structure.

The 1930s-era fire station at 1055 Benton St. has been used by the nonprofit group known as FISH rent-free since 1995. The city pays about $4,000 a year in utilities for the building.

Last year, the all-volunteer group distributed more than 580,000 pounds of food to nearly 64,000 people in 16,000 households.

Jeanne-Marie Jones, the Executive Director of F.I.S.H, bags up donated groceries for Sonoma resident Andrea Caudill, Friday Dec. 7, 2012. The nonprofit F.I.S.H. has operated rent-free out of a former city firehouse at the corner of Benton and North streets for 17 years in Santa Rosa but now must find a new home. (Kent Porter / PD)

Jeanne-Marie Jones, the Executive Director of F.I.S.H, bags up donated groceries for Sonoma resident Andrea Caudill, Friday Dec. 7, 2012. The nonprofit F.I.S.H. has operated rent-free out of a former city firehouse at the corner of Benton and North streets for 17 years in Santa Rosa but now must find a new home. (Kent Porter / PD)

But the city has determined that it would take upward of $350,000 to make various repairs, including upgrades to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The city hopes to have the building vacant by the end of the year. The last appraisal for the property was conducted in 2009 and valued the property at $480,000.

The city has given the group several extensions to find a new home. FISH officials say they are actively looking for one, but they have yet to find a suitable location.





4 Responses to “Santa Rosa takes first step toward selling property used by food pantry”

  1. GAJ says:

    The facility is being sold because of the insanity called the ADA and the layer of added insanity here in California called the Unruh Act.

    The ADA is a law that generates income for lawyers and their “advocates.”

    A colleague of mine in the restaurant business, a lawyer, told me a few years back he could make $500,000/year filing frivolous ADA lawsuits if his ethical compass was rusty.

  2. sean buckley says:

    I could not agree with James Bennett more. I think that he more artfully said what was on my mind. Thank you, James Bennett

  3. sean buckley says:

    I am saddened to see the City of Santa Rosa selling a building of little financial value, but a building that gives civic-minded, good-hearted people a place to help those who are in need of help.
    Maybe it is an embarresment to the City that volunteers are doing what the city, with its overpaid officials, cannot seem to accomplish.
    It saddens me to see Sonoma County touted as being liberal when there is a lot of conservative selfishness on the city governments and the County board of Directors. There is also a goodly amount of “wine country” snobbery that paints the cities and County in rather unbecoming colors.
    I love Santa Rosa and Sonoma County and most of its people are down-to-earth and good hearted but we need to value that and each one of us try to be friendly and helpful to all. Thank You.

  4. James Bennett says:

    Priorities.

    These volunteers provide an important service. The numbers in need are increasing, and will be more so.

    Rather than bike bridges and parking kiosks, we could be looking after needs. not globalist wants.

    This is an indicator, a barometer of where we’re at.

    Not a good statement.

    As I said at Council, our public officials should find a way.

    But, see, part of the globalist ideology is to have folks dependent on them.

    Not an engaged community, looking after each other.

    Dependence, not independence