The management responsibilities of the Stanislaus Veterans Center transferred to Stanislaus County Jan. 1 because the nonprofit could no longer afford the rent on the facility.
The request to transfer the management responsibilities was made by the Veterans Foundation of Stanislaus County, which had been managing the operations of the site since it opened in 2017.
In September 2015, the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors approved a memorandum of understanding between Stanislaus County, the city of Modesto, and the Veterans Foundation of Stanislaus County to build and operate a one-stop shop for veterans, where they could find resources, and services, as well as social connections.
The agreement called for the Foundation to operate the center and contribute $177,283 annually for the rent. The city of Modesto would contribute $80,000 a year and Stanislaus County would pay $147,336 annually and hold the master lease.
The facility is located at 3500 Coffee Road in Modesto. It is 37,547 square feet that houses several county departments, as well as 19,025 square feet that is used as a banquet hall and conference center. This area was leased to the Foundation with the idea they would be able to rent the space out for large events and weddings.
Day-to-day operations of the center, along with changes in the Foundation’s Board of Directors, left the nonprofit with little time to do the major fundraising and marketing campaigns it had planned on doing to cover the monthly rent of $14,773.
In April, the Foundation was unable to make the monthly rent payment. Subsequent rent payments also were missed and in October, the Foundation notified the county that it would not be able to meet the financial obligations and made a formal request to transfer over the management responsibilities of the banquet hall and conference center to the county.
The modification of the memorandum was approved by the Board of Supervisors 5-0, on Dec. 18. The new agreement will allow the Foundation to continue renting office space and operate the facility lounge, while working with County staff to reimburse the missed rent payments. Eventually, the county will seek a private contractor to operate the banquet hall and conference center.