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Lodi City Council to vote on lease for Camp Hutchins

Under agreement, Lodi Health would pay $2,788 each month in rent and utilities

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Posted: Wednesday, March 20, 2013 12:00 am

A popular Lodi daycare program, at risk of shutting down due to rent costs, may continue for at least one more year, depending on tonight's Lodi City Council vote.

Camp Hutchins has been run by Lodi Health, formerly Lodi Memorial Hospital, since 1998. The hospital paid the city $1 a year to lease the space after agreeing to take it over as a service to Lodi. That lease ended in August 2012, leaving parents wondering about the future of their children's daycare.

In addition to the token rent costs, the city has absorbed wear and tear costs related to the tenant's use of the space, including $2,400 to replace a worn-out countertop several years ago.

In December 2012, the city council gave directions to staff to negotiate a new lease that would not require the city to subsidize the private daycare. Two months later, Lodi Health notified parents that the program would close in July.

"We were under the impression they were done. But they came back and said they decided to give it a go," said Jeff Hood, director of the city's Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services department.

After petitions circulated among parents, Carol Farron, spokeswoman for Lodi Health, announced the hospital would agree to a new lease with the city.

According to the new lease, Lodi Health would pay $2,788 a month in rent and utilities to continue Camp Hutchins and Adult Day Care. Lodi Health would be responsible for interior repairs, maintenance and janitorial services, while the city would continue to maintain exteriors.

This lease would be active for one year, with two one-year options to continue.

"Everything is dependent on the outcome of city council vote. Once they agree to the rent, we'll go ahead and send a letter to parents to talk about where we go from here," said Farron.

In informal conversations with parents, Farron said many were willing to pay increased fees to help cover those costs.

Camp Hutchins is located in the northwest corner of the Hutchins Street Square building, near the Oak Street playground. Parents pay up to $142 a week for full-time preschool and daycare services for children ages 3 to 5. Sixty students are currently enrolled, according to director Jill DeGagne. The center is open for child care from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Contact reporter Sara Jane Pohlman at sarap@lodinews.com.

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  • Jerry Bransom posted at 4:02 pm on Wed, Mar 20, 2013.

    Jerry Bransom Posts: 363

    Why is it so easy for publicly funded properties to become "freebies" for someone's Good 'ol Buddy rather than taking that property and running it like a business? Who is answerable for all this adolescent behavior?

  • Doug Chaney posted at 9:03 am on Wed, Mar 20, 2013.

    advocate Posts: 499

    If Lodi Health wants to continue the adult and child care program that is great. But they should use their own facilities at their west facility on Lower Sac. The present gym has so much seldom used space with a room for nearly every technique that this building could be updated and reorganized and create more than enough square footage for both of these programs. There are also more than ample commercial buildings and properties vacant in Lodi that would be ideal for these programs. And since Camp Hutchins uses the paid facilities at Lodi Lake, will they also pay to "rent/lease" that free space and pay the admission cost for vehicles and lake usage, including lifeguards? The city of Lodi shouldn't be subsidizing any "babysitting" service whether it be disguised as a preschool or anything else, especially at low cost for those with seemingly higher income levels and well connected.



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