Thursday, June 24, 2021


Sites Reservoir team partners with Maxwell Park and Rec 

The Sites Reservoir Authority principals opened their hearts and reached into their own pockets over the holidays to help build something bigger than a lake. 

The team took their first dip into supporting a local community project and promises that it won’t be their last.  

Sites Authority Executive Director, Jerry Brown, took up a collection among those involved in building the $1.3 billion water storage project to help the Maxwell Park and Recreation District Auxiliary construct the commercial kitchen at the Maxwell Community Center. 

“The Auxiliary is so grateful for the Sites Reservior’s large, generous donation of $6,600,” said Tish Nerli, vice chair. 

The donation was the Sites team’s first foray into forming philanthropic partnerships in the local community. 

“We were very happy to be able to do it, and pleased that (the MPR Auxiliary) will be able to move their project forward, just like we are trying to move our project forward to make Maxwell a better place,” Brown said. 

Brown, who made a sizable donation, along with about 15 other principles involved in building the reservoir, said that even during the pandemic, the Sites project has moved forward and has gained momentum. 

While the water project has been talked about for more than 60 years and has been in the development process since 2010, funding authorized by California voters, the state, and the federal government has the project closer to becoming a reality than ever before. 

Now that team is looking at forming additional partnerships, especially those that help Maxwell residents and beyond. 

“As a local guy and resident of Maxwell now, I am really encouraged and excited about the opportunities (Sites) will have on the communities and the region, and how we as a community can partner with the authority to do the types of things we want to do, whether it’s working with the Fire Department or Sheriff’s Office, the school district or Parks and Rec,” said Kevin Spesert, Sites Authority’s communications manager. “We are going to be a partner here for the next 100 years. It is our best interest as a project for our community to be strong.”   

While the donation to the MPR Auxiliary is the first for the Sites team, it likely won’t be the last opportunity for the Authority to help. 

The MPR Auxiliary functions as a fundraising arm of the Maxwell Park and Recreation District, under the Community Foundation of Colusa County, a local non-profit organization that serves as the umbrella for many organization, such as the Eleanor Azevedo Youth Empowerment Services, The Farmer’s Daughter, and others that serve the communities in Colusa County. 

Brown said that the Colusa County was fortunate to have the Community Foundation to bring so many community partners together under one umbrella. 

And the donation could not have come at a better time, Nerli said. 

The Auxiliary’s kitchen is part of the larger Maxwell Park and Recreation District’s Community Center project. 

The MPR board of directors voted unanimously on Jan. 13 to use the district’s $177,000 allocation from Proposition 68 for required repairs, walls and flooring, an ADA compliant restroom, and heating and air conditioning, so the building could be used for community events and programs for youth, adults, and senior citizens.

The Maxwell Park and Recreation District purchased the building in 2017, but has had no previous financial opportunity to make the required repairs to bring the building into code compliance. 

The district’s only revenue is about $13,000 annually from a 1985 tax assessment, MPR officials said, which covers the district’s youth basketball program and minor office expenses. The rest of the district’s projects and programs come directly from fundraising in the community. 

MPR Director and Auxiliary Liaison, Andre Young, said the donation from the Sites team, added to the one-time allocation from the state, is a turning point for making the community center available for public use. 

“With the Lord’s blessing, we will get there,” Young said. “Sometimes slow is better, no matter how fast we want to run.”♣

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