Nature center transition

CARD taking on lease after city forgives debt

The city will soon sign a lease with the Chico Area Recreation and Park District (CARD) for the Chico Creek Nature Center and its continued operations of the facility.

On Tuesday (Aug. 6), the City Council forgave the center for $169,800 in loan debt that had been taken out in the early 2000s to build a new exhibit and classroom facilities after an administration building fire. Since then, the city and nature center have gone through years of loan deferrals and negotiations. CARD has operated the center since January 2016, and will pay $2,000 annually.

The vote fell 5-1, with Mayor Randall Stone voting nay and Councilman Karl Ory absent.

Assistant City Manager Chris Constantin said discharging the loan is in the public interest, whose debt has been served by the center’s many years of service.