SPUSD staff recommends continuing
contract to manage farm property

February 11, 2015
Santa Paula News

Staff of the Santa Paula Unified School District is recommending that SESPE Farm Management continue to manage the district’s Grant Line property for another three years.

The District originally hired SESPE Farm Management to “farm” the property for the past 18 months.  The current contract was amended last fall to end after the Lemons were harvested.  

For more than 30 years Santa Paula High School partnered with the City of Santa Paula to provide students with access to a respected and valuable livestock program that has been on the grounds of the old sewer plant.

The sale of the sewer plant land and Crown Disposal’s planned use of the entire site started the High School District on a search for a farm.  Crown Disposal has allowed the FFA/Agriculture Sciences Partnership Academy program to continue to operate on the current site during the search process.   

In 2013 the Santa Paula Union High School District Trustees approved a Purchase Agreement for approximately 29 acres of agricultural land to be used for a new school farm. The High School District worked with the Limoneira Company in a transaction to use a portion of the land allotted to the District at East Area 1 to fund the purchase.

SESPE Farm management has provided the recap of the expenditures and revenues from the period 7/1/2013 through 12/31/2014.    

Expenditures totaled $45,593.12 for the period (not including water, paid by the District). Income totaled $113,562.49. The current contract is to split the proceeds (after expenses paid by SESPE) 60% to District, 40% to SESPE.  SESPE issued a check to Santa Paula Unified School District in the amount of $27,187.75.

Staff is recommending a new 3 year contract with SESPE with the option to renew for 2 additional years. Staff is recommending  50%/50% split for the renewal with SESPE paying the water bill. The former agreement had a 60%/40% split with the district paying for the water.

The new contract will come back to the board for final approval.

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