Camp San Luis Obispo, whose main function is to provide a training site for members of the California Army National Guard, spent $8.69 million on its top 10 contracts in 2013 and 2014. That includes $3.45 million that went to eight local companies and nonprofit organizations.
All contracts are selected through a bidding process, according to Col. Joe Righello, commander of Camp San Luis Obispo. “We attempt to find bidders who are local where we can, but we have no control over the process.”
That said, because of the camp’s location away from major urban areas, he added, “that’s an advantage for us to encourage local business.”
The camp, off Highway 1 just north of San Luis Obispo, consists of about 5,600 acres. The daytime population varies, but averages between 450 and 500 people, Righello said.
The biggest local contract — for $2.2 million — went to Red Mountain, a Native American-owned firm in Avila Beach that expanded classroom space for the Grizzly Youth Academy, which is based at the site. The expansion gives the academy capacity to add a second female platoon for 50 cadets; it currently operates one female platoon and three male platoons for 200 students, Righello said.
The top contract for nearly $4 million went to LOVARC Inc. of Lompoc, a nonprofit that hires individuals who have disabilities. It also serves Vandenberg Air Force Base, Righello said. “We are able to charge a very small fee for meals because LOVARC runs a nonprofit operation that is very, very, very efficient.”
Here’s a look at the remaining top eight contracts for 2013 and 2014. Some of the contracts are for a two-year period that begins in either 2013 or 2014, according to information given to The Tribune at its request:
- The Herrera Corp. of Santa Maria, $1.246 million to reconstruct existing buildings and create 32 bed spaces for students attending 223rd Infantry Regiment classes. The regiment trains military police, truck drivers and others.