A Santa Barbara County Civil Grand Jury report released last
week suggested that all is not well at the popular Jalama Beach
County Park near Lompoc. Initially motivated by a complaint about
the park’s longstanding concessionaire, the report identified
several aspects of the park that the jury felt should be remedied.
The majority of problems stemmed from the contract between the
county and the family-operated General Store. The report alleged
that the county has twice renewed 10-year leases for the
concessionaire without taking any public bids and that the terms of
a 2004 amendment to the contract—allowing the store to rent out
trailers to be used in 110 camping sites—are often violated and
fail to provide the county with “sufficient revenue.” Additionally,
the report identified the park’s no-reservation policy as an
“inconvenience” to would-be visitors, and criticized the Parks
Department for making little or no progress toward the realization
of the 1999 Jalama Master Plan. County supervisors have 60 days to
respond to the allegations, while the County Parks Department has
90 days to file a response.


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