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Westmorland Council is updated on proposed motel, rehab center

January 17, 2002|By MARIO RENTERIA, Staff Writer

WESTMORLAND — The City Council here, sitting as the city Redevelopment Agency board, heard updates on two proposed projects — a 50-unit motel and a residential alcohol and drug rehabilitation center for nonviolent women.

Mike Gaston of The Holt Group of El Centro gave the council reports on the projects. The Holt Group provides planning and engineering services to the city.

In regard to the rehabilitation center, Gaston said the project was delayed a bit because of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11. The attacks caused consumer spending to drop and that affected tax revenues in California.

Gov. Gray Davis requested state departments review their budgets and reduce expenditures in areas where it is appropriate, Gaston said.

The proposed operator and developer of the rehab center, Alternative Counseling Centers Inc. of Bakersfield, needs to secure a contract from the state mental health department, which is funded by the state Department of Corrections, said Gaston.


State mental health officials provided a letter of interest to ACCI in July that made a preliminary commitment to contract with the operator for the Westmorland site.

Gaston added the state and county parole division is showing support for the project. The next step is for Edwin D. Sigrest, president of ACCI, to sign the disposition and development agreement with the city so the RDA can purchase the property proposed for the site from Brawley resident Steve Dickerson.

The property would be sold by the city to ACCI for $1 as an incentive to develop the facility. The property is on the southwest corner of Highway 86 and G Street.

The design work would begin in April and would be submitted for approval to the council in September. Construction would begin sometime in November after permits are obtained. The facility is expected to be completed in May 2003, with patients arriving in June 2003.

Regarding the motel project, an owner participation agreement has been signed by the developer, High Spirits LP, owned by Dr. Veerinder Anand of El Centro and Rick Desai of Las Vegas. The agreement is in the final draft stages and is expected to be finalized and signed within the next week.

The property would then be transferred from owner and Brawley resident Clark Seybert to High Spirits LP.

Gaston said those involved expect construction to begin in February and be completed within six months. The motel should open in September.

>> Staff Writer Mario Renteria can be reached at 337-3441.

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