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California City to Revive Idled Campground

The city of Pico Rivera, Calif., will spend $100,000 to spruce up Bicentennial Park, a former campground left in disrepair for several years. 

The Bicentennial Park property in Whittier Narrows, owned by the Army Corps of Engineers, includes the old campgrounds, a bathroom and open space, as well as the Pico Rivera Sports Arena, leased by Leba Inc., according to the Whittier Daily News

Changes will include making the bathroom operational for the first time in several years and cleaning up debris around the campground before fire risk increases as summer nears. 

Some of the money will also be used to prepare for a master plan for the 62 acres the city leases from the Army Corps. 

"The rest of the money is earmarked to assist us as we determine our development scheme out there, working with the corps in terms of what we want to do out there," City Manager Chuck Fuentes said. 

Plans are in the works to create a comprehensive design for the area, and those plans may not involve the structures and set-up as it currently exists, but Fuentes said he believes Bicentennial Park is worth repairing. 

"Rather than have it just sit fallow, we want to bring back some of those facilities that could make it useful in the present time," Fuentes said. 

The master plan for the area might eventually include sports fields for adults and children, a revamped campground and improvements to the sports arena. 

The money to cover the immediate repairs comes from the income generated by leasing the sports arena property to Leba Inc. 

According to Mayor Gracie Gallegos, the long-term changes are needed to keep entertainment at a reasonable cost for families, but the short-term fixes are worth spending money now. 

"It's a fire hazard, and cleaning up and getting rid of a lot of that debris is wise," Gallegos said. "Besides, our (financial) numbers are looking good."

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