Claremont readies city to host Olympic athletes in July
Get ready to open your heart and possibly your door this summer as Claremont prepares to welcome participants competing in the 2015 Special Olympics World Games.
On January 27, the city council approved Claremont’s participation as a Special Olympics World Games 2015 host town and allocated $20,000 from the unassigned General Fund for costs related to hosting an athletic delegation.
The city will host approximately 100 athletes, trainers and support staff from one of the 170 countries coming to southern California to participate in the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games opening July 25, 2015 in Los Angeles. Held at USC and UCLA, the games will feature competitions in aquatics, gymnastics, track and field, basketball, soccer and many other summer sports involving 7,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities.
Athletic delegations will be arriving to Claremont in the days prior to the World Games to get acclimated, rest and train for their events. The city will be responsible for a welcome reception, two lunches and two dinners for the athletes and planning community activities on July 22 and July 23. It’s the intention of city staff to work with community members on planning these activities and to solicit donations and in-kind contributions to offset the cost.
The Fairplex has offered to host a barbecue and concert for the delegations from La Verne, Pomona and Claremont on the evening of July 22 at no cost to the cities. The city of Claremont will also partner with Pomona Valley Transportation Authority (PVTA), who will provide transportation to and from community events as an in-kind donation.
Pomona College, Claremont McKenna College and Pitzer College have all generously donated lodging for the delegation and the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps athletic department has committed the use of their training facilities for the athletes during their stay.
Athletes’ families are not included in the delegation and will need to pay for lodging at local hotels.
“It’s such a great opportunity for the city,” says Public Information Officer Bevin Handel. “The Special Olympics World Games is the largest athletic event in 2015 and we’re excited to be a part of it.”
A country has not yet been assigned to the city of Claremont yet but an announcement is expected in the coming weeks.
In other council news
Council members approved two additional items on the agenda Tuesday night: a resolution approving the issuance of a tax-exempt loan for the benefit of Scripps College as well as a purchase agreement for a small, remnant property located at the northeast corner of Second Street and Oberlin Avenue.
Scripps College requested council approval of tax-exempt financing through the California Municipal Finance Authority (CMFA) in an amount not to exceed $30 million. The federal Tax Equity and Financial Responsibility Act (TEFRA) requires that a public hearing be held by the governing body in the jurisdiction in which the project is located. The CMFA shares a portion of the issuance fees it receives with its member communities, granting an expected 25 percent of that fee to the city of Claremont’s General Fund.
This isn’t the first TEFRA hearing the city has held in recent years. Webb Schools, Mt. San Antonio Gardens, Pilgrim Place and Western Christian Schools have all previously appeared before the council.
In other finance news, Claremont homeowner John Kerr got council approval for a $4,000 purchase and sale agreement for a 2,048-square-foot parcel located adjacent to his home. The remnant strip of land was left unused when the extension of Second Street west of Indian Hill was constructed in 2004. The parcel, owned by the Successor Agency to the Claremont Redevelopment Agency, is required to be sold as part of the agency’s dissolution.
Mr. Kerr had shown interest in purchasing the property to expand his residential footprint. Following the adoption of the resolution, Councilman Opanyi Nasiali quipped, “Party in Kerr’s backyard!”
The agreement will need final approval by the Oversight Board and then the State Department of Finance before escrow can open and the sale can proceed.