Butte County Sells Southside Oroville Community Center to Nonprofit for $1 – Chico Enterprise-Record

OROVILLE – The Southside Oroville Community Center, which has been serving residents of the community for two decades, has officially transferred ownership from Butte County to the Southside Oroville Community Improvement Association.

Association president Kevin Thompson signed the transfer agreement on Tuesday officially placing ownership of the Southside Oroville Community Center in the nonprofit.

“We’re waiting…all the generous donors, everyone who went to protests…everyone who writes letters, everyone who showed up for office,” Thompson said. “It was a community effort.”

The giveaway comes after approximately 50 protesters came together twice in November 2020 to support the Southside Oroville Community Improvement Association in the eventual acquisition of the center.

An agreement prohibiting Butte County from selling or transferring for 20 years expired in May 2021, and the town of Oroville discussed what it could do with the property.

Southside Oroville Community Improvement Association’s new temporary women’s housing is seen Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022, in Oroville, Calif.

The Southside Oroville Community Improvement Association had operated the community center since 2016 and was eventually allowed to negotiate with the county after the protests.

In 2021, Butte County completed the title transfer deal with a 5-0 vote from the Butte County Board of Supervisors and was sold for $1.

Butte County Supervisor Bill Connelly has been a supporter of the Southside Oroville Community Improvement Association since it took over and worked with Thompson to transfer ownership.

“It’s a pretty historic day because all these years the center has been owned and operated by the county which is unable to provide these services,” Connelly said. “It’s really exciting that the local people have formed their own committee and taken on the responsibility for several years and proven they can make it work profitably.

Butte County Corporate Services Manager Grant Hunsicker said the county has the ability to transfer or convey real estate to California-formed organizations for the benefit of the public. The non-profit organization already operated the center and the county decided to offer it to them.

“They paid for all the utilities; they built up a capital balance for future repairs and they opened the center up for public use much better than the county was able to,” Hunsicker said.

“They were able to put money into utilities and repairs, and put money in the bank for future repairs when the county couldn’t do any of that,” Hunsicker said. “He was much more successful than when he was in county hands.”

Thompson said the change in ownership won’t change much to their operations. The Southside Community Improvement Association will soon open temporary housing for women.

Jill E. Washington