Bureaucratic Squabble at Bidwell Mansion

Apr 5, 2012 8:14 PM

It's been months now since the state announced Bidwell Mansion as one of the 70 parks involved in the state wide budget cut park closures. Since then, members of the Chico community have gone above and beyond to raise the money needed to keep the doors of the mansion open.

State Park Valley Service Superintendent Denise Rist says, "It's just amazing the way the community has come together to save the Bidwell Mansion. We are just impressed and thankful." Between the Bidwell Mansion State Park's contingent fund, the Bidwell Mansion Association, and the Bidwell Mansion Community Project, more than 100,000 dollars has been raised. But now issues are arising between the state parks and their non-profit cooperation organization, The Bidwell Mansion Association.

Rist says, "Through some problem with their tax filing over the last few years, they lost their non-profit." Which she says, means they broke their contract agreement. But members of The Bidwell Mansion Association, say they accidentally made a clerical error on their federal filings, and had a different understanding about their non-profit status.

Kay Brandt, Bidwell Mansion Association President says, "We never received a notice from the state of California Secretary of States Office, that we were out of compliance." And they say they've done nothing but support and foster the efforts of the Bidwell Mansion since 1956. "Our main goal is preservation and restoration and education of the Bidwell Mansion," says Brandt.

This he said she said issue has gone so far, it's caught the attention of Assemblyman Dan Logue. He negotiated a 30 day agreement with state parks and met with the association Wednesday night to help them straighten things out. Assemblyman Dan Logue (R) Linda says, "I'm going to do my best to bring them together.. Bring both sides together, find a compromise, so the ultimate goal is to make sure Bidwell Mansion stays open."

But the big question everyone has on their mind; will this issue affect the Bidwell Mansion's outcome. And the answer is no. "We feel secure that we can keep that park open for two years at some level of service," says Rist.

If The Bidwell Mansion Association's contract does in fact get terminated, the $146,000 the organization currently holds for the mansion, will be transferred to the Bidwell Bar, another non-profit cooperating association.


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