County Gives Slaughterhouse Five More Years At Dairy

The county this week extended by five years and seventeen days the time a meat packing plant will be permitted to maintain its ongoing operations on county owned property in the former Chino Agricultural Preserve.
On October 6, the board of supervisors approved an amendment to its lease agreement with American Beef Packers, Inc. to extend the term from October 15, 2015 to October 31, 2020 for 34.77 acres of county-owned dairy land and improvements in Ontario for total revenue in the amount of $314,947.
According to Terry W. Thompson, the director of the San Bernardino County Real Estate Services Department, “On May 18, 1993, utilizing funds made available to the county under the provisions of Proposition 70, the county purchased a 34.77 acre dairy, which included a 3,050 square foot single family residence and a 3,275 square foot single family residence, located on Schaefer Avenue in Ontario. The dairy has been leased continually to two tenants, including American Beef Packers, since 1993, with the exception of a two-year period from December 2008 to October 2010, during which time, the dairy remained vacant and unleased.”
The county paid $2.2 million for the property, located at 7777 Schaefer Avenue, the Sentinel has learned. The county made the purchase under the auspices of California Proposition 70, or the Wildlife, Coastal, and Park Land Conservation Act of 1988, which was approved by voters on June 7, 1988 and authorized a $776 million general obligation bond to provide funds for the “acquisition, development, rehabilitation, protection, or restoration of park, wildlife, coastal, and natural lands in California including lands supporting unique or endangered plants or animals.”
According to Thompson, “On November 16, 2010, the board of supervisors approved a three-year lease, with one two-year option to extend the term with American Beef Packers for the 34.77 acre dairy, including the two residences, for use in producing beef cattle. Loss of dairy equipment, due to vandalism and theft during the period of the vacancy, precluded the use of the property as a dairy. The original term of the lease was from October 15, 2010 to October 14, 2013. In the five years since the lease was originally approved, the board has approved one amendment which extended the term from October 15, 2013 to October 14, 2015.”
Over the last two years, American Beef Packers was leasing the property at the bargain basement price of $51,000 per year, i.e., $102,000 from October 2013 until this month.
American Beef Packers signaled to the county’s real estate services department it wanted to renew the lease and remain on the property.
According to Thompson, “The real estate services department conducted a market survey of comparable leased dairy property in San Bernardino County and determined that the rent should be increased to more accurately reflect current market conditions. This new lease agreement provides for the continued use by American Beef Packers of 34.77 acres of county-owned dairy land, which includes two residences at 7777 and 7849 Schaefer Avenue in Ontario, from October 15, 2015 to October 31, 2020 [and] provides for an increase in the monthly rent, and excludes the use of the dairy barn and associated milking equipment. All other terms and conditions of the lease remain the same.”
In this way, the monthly rent will jump from the current $4,250 to $5,201.58 per month.
Under the lease, maintenance on the property is to be provided by the tenant except for the residential septic system, roof, heating and air conditioning system, and all major subsurface infrastructure systems including water wells, well casing, septic systems and utility piping located on the dairy, unless the cause of such failure is due to negligence of the tenant.

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