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Questions raised about Training Center funding

Posted: 6:13 PM, Feb 10, 2016
Updated: 2016-02-11 03:43:14Z

CHULA VISTA, Calif. - Questions swirled Wednesday about the future of the Chula Vista Olympic Training Center, with most of those questions centered on who would operate the center and how would the city guarantee it wouldn't lose money on the deal.

The CVOTC will likely change ownership by the end of 2016. The United States Olympic Committee voted Monday to hand the 155-acre facility over to the city of Chula Vista for $1.

On Tuesday night, the Chula Vista City Council agreed to the transfer. The USOC agreed to transfer the facility because it was losing millions annually.

RELATED: Chula Vista City Council approves city takeover of Olympic Training Center

Now, the city and the operator they selected -- the Point Loma Trust -- have until March 31 to reach an agreement on how the facility will be run.

"I have a lot of concerns and questions," said Chula Vista resident William Richter. "It's an $8 million-a-year commitment to keep the place open."

"We have a lot to figure out over the next year with getting our finalized operating model together," said Chula Vista Deputy City Manager Kelley Bacon.

Bacon added they selected the relatively new Point Loma Trust over 10 other applicants.

"It's a fairly new trust and these are the type of ventures that they're going to be operating," she said.

10News learned the PLT formed in 2015 and doesn't have anything like the OTC on its resume. 10News couldn't find a website for the Trust either.

"That's the million-dollar question: Who is the Point Loma Trust?" asked Richter.

"[The Trust is] affiliated with Point Loma Nazarene University, but it's separate from them and it's not governed by them in any way," explained Bacon.

Richter's biggest concern is the annual $8 million operating budget.

"I don't think the city could afford $8 million for anything at the moment," he said.

"They have the financial ability to operate this facility and have said to us they can cover any shortfalls," said Bacon.

10News spoke with Point Loma Trust CEO Joe Watkins Wednesday afternoon, and he said he couldn't answer any questions until they hammer out an agreement with the city.

According to documents provided by the city, that agreement needs to be reached by March 31. Bacon said the transfer would be significantly delayed if that agreement isn't reached.