Funds designated for Compton Campfire site remain under LA County control

Entry to Compton Campfire located at 450 S. Raymond in Richlands Farms agricultural area of Compton. (photo: Compton Coalition for Integrity in Governance)

What is going on with the Compton Campfire site?  Compton residents are concerned that funds designated to purchase the property located at 450 S. Raymond St. (parcel numbers 6162-009-901 or 6162-009-907) have languished under the control of Los Angeles County for a couple of years.  Nearly $300,000 in private donations also hang in the balance.

The Compton Campfire site has been a Compton jewel for the past five decades, serving hundreds of thousands of children, according to L.A. County Board Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas‘ official website.

when the 1.26 acre campground came up for sale by the current owner, the City of Compton agreed to pitch in $450,000 to buy and renovate it. But they needed more money to cover the costs. And so, on Tuesday April 1, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisor approved $300,000 in Proposition A funds earmarked to improve public parks.

“These funds will be used to improve the campgrounds,” said Ridley-Thomas, who authored the motion approved by the Board for the funds. “This campsite needs to remain in the community as a public recreational asset for future generations.”

For three years the city has been in a battle with LA County over the release of the funds to settle the purchase of the property after it was lost at a property tax auction for less than $40,000 dollars.  This is where the city of Compton and LA County joined forces to save the property.

According to insiders, the city’s claim hinges on the testimony of a “Ms. Senegal”, who is not cooperating with the lawsuit filed against LA County by the city of Compton.

Attempts to reach Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and Compton city attorney Craig Cornwell have been unsuccesful.

Cynthia Macon, who assisted with gathering the private donations and keeping the momentum going on this case, shared this with 2 Urban Girls:

My only desire was to save the Compton Camp Fire, treasured as it is by so many who have been privileged to know of its existence.”
“My reward will be in knowing this beautiful property will continue to serve the children of Compton as it has done since originally gifted in 1945.”
“Whatever internal snafus has led to $575,000 just sitting in county accounts for up to two years needs to be unraveled and addressed as the Camp
Fire, like so many other city projects and parks, had money.
Exactly when will LA County release the funds and why is Ms. Senegal’s “statement” so paramount to case number BC 637287?  The city has until December 27 to get their statement from Ms. Senegal in order to file a cross complaint to release the $575,000 in the county’s control.
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One Response so far.

  1. 2 Urban Girls:

    Thanks for your article on the Camp Fire but I need to address some key points.

    The county is not in a battle with the city.

    The city has just failed to fill out and submit the proper paperwork to the county to receive the monies. The delay is on the city and not the county.
    The county, parks grant department, will be happy to release the $300,000 Prop A monies I secured when the city finally submits the proper and correct paperwork.

    As for the remaining $275,000 Charitable Donation I secured from the former local Campfire Council, it will now have to be resolved in a court case due to delay in submitting paperwork by the city. However, you are right, he city of Compton does need to file a court response by December 27th to stay in the game.

    If successful in court, the county tax assessor’s office who is holding these funds will then turn over these funds to the city once the proper paperwork from the city is submitted to the assessor.

    But you are right, the ball is in the city’s court and I am awaiting and confident in our current City Manager Groomes’ ability to resolve these issues.

    Thank you,
    Cynthia Macon
    Compton Campfire Preservation Society

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