San Rafael, CA – February 14, 2019 – The Ross Valley Sanitary District (RVSD) Board of Directors is pleased to announce that after years of managing temporary locations and a comprehensive search for alternatives, the District has entered into contract and begun a 45-day due diligence period to purchase a new headquarters at 1111 Andersen Dr., San Rafael, CA 94901. The Board of Directors announced the purchase contract at a public meeting on February 13.
The new facility is located near the Central Marin Sanitation Agency (CMSA) treatment plant where RVSD wastewater is treated. The building and location offer a rare opportunity to secure an existing commercial property that is zoned for utility operations like RVSD’s, with no impacts to residential areas. The proposed building also brings immediate financial benefits as half of the new facility is currently occupied by Comcast Corporation.
“By centralizing all RVSD employees and operations, the Board is fulfilling its commitment to strategically and proactively plan for the District’s long-term success,” said Board President Thomas Gaffney. “Securing a permanent facility that consolidates staff and equipment to a single location will also improve response time and customer service, and provide long-term operations efficiency.”
Facility modifications to accommodate RVSD functional needs will begin once the purchase is complete and are anticipated to take one year or less. The District will then move its current operations from four locations to one, allowing for significant long-term efficiencies and enhanced emergency and rapid response capabilities through a centralized location for employees, managers and work crews as well as a location that offers improved access to all District communities.
“Our facilities are currently spread across the district and do not meet some basic employee needs, with more than half of RVSD staff working in portable structures that lack suitable natural light or ventilation and use portable restroom facilities,” said General Manager, Steve Moore. “In addition to an improved work environment, the new centralized location will also provide the public with an easily-accessible site to conduct business, attend monthly board meetings, and participate in educational sessions on various RVSD topics such as our lateral grant program.”
The facility purchase will be financed with revenue bonds that can be paid-off by selling or leasing other District properties for other community needs, resulting in reduced financial impacts from the purchase. In addition, buying an existing building is less expensive than building a new structure.
Comcast will remain at the new facility for at least four years based on current lease conditions. Their lease payments will offset transaction costs and provide the District immediate revenue. Space may be available for other public utilities, including other wastewater utilities in the future.
RVSD Facilities Timeline:
May 2009 – RVSD purchased its current administration building at 2960 Kerner Blvd. and moved from temporary offices at 1301 Andersen Dr. This arrangement was always meant to be temporary, with permanent facilities contemplated at Larkspur Landing or elsewhere.
June 2018 – A Facility Needs Assessment, which recognized problems with the current, temporary arrangement of offices and facilities was completed. Consolidating operations into one location was recommended, with benefits such as accessibility to the District and its customers, compatible land uses (utility operations and parking), cost savings, efficient operations, and the ability for timely implementation.
November 2018 – Potential sites in Central Marin County and criteria for selection were reviewed by the Board at its regular monthly meeting.
December 2018 – Closed session was held on potential purchase of the building at 1111 Andersen Dr.
January 2019 – Building tours were attended by all five board members and district managers, with one closed session and two special board meetings held. An initial offer was made for the building and lease terms with Comcast were proposed. Comcast has the option to remain in the building for up to 14 years.
February 2019 – Following a special meeting, the board approves an offer on building which the seller accepted and entered into contract for purchase and sale.
About Ross Valley Sanitary District: Established in 1899, Ross Valley Sanitary District is dedicated to protecting public health and the environment. The District provides customers with high quality wastewater utility service through a system that has no avoidable sanitary sewer overflows, at the lowest sustainable cost. RVSD’s service area includes: Fairfax, San Anselmo, Ross, Larkspur, Bon Air, Sleepy Hollow, Kentfield, Kent Woodlands, Oak Manor, and Greenbrae. RVSD operates and maintains 200 miles of collection sewer lines and 19 pumping stations which collect, pump and transport wastewater to Central Marin Sanitation Agency for treatment. For more information, please visit http://rvsd.org.