Mare Island cleanup will speed up transfer

The Associated Press
Saturday November 04, 2000

VALLEJO — The City of Vallejo and the Navy reached an $80 million agreement for the environmental cleanup of Mare Island, which could allow part of the island to be transferred to the city ahead of schedule. 

The agreement, which came after six months of negotiation, will come before the city council for approval in mid to late November. 

The former Mare Island Naval Shipyard closed in 1996. The city is planning to develop six million square feet of commercial and industrial space on the island, which could create more than 6,000 jobs. 

In the agreement, the city would provide environmental services for the cleanup and in return the Navy would grant $80 million to the city. It is expected to take four to five years, which the city says is faster than a Navy cleanup. 

The deal would allow the environmental cleanup to be done at the same time as the construction phase of the redevelopment of the island, allowing a transfer before the cleanup is complete. Gov. Gray Davis must also approve an early transfer. 

“We hope the Governor will support this early transfer,” said Alvaro da Silva, Vallejo’s director of community development. “It looks good.” 

An early transfer of the land would be the largest in terms of cleanup costs since Congress granted authority for early transfers in 1996.