EXCLUSIVE: Santa Barbara County Officials Says They Are Preparing For Huge Crowds At Michael Jackson Memorial But They've Had "No Contact From The Family"

Jun. 30 2009, Published 9:40 a.m. ET

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Michael Jackson's family has not been in touch with Santa Barbara County officials about a memorial they are planning at their son's former home, Neverland Valley Ranch.

"No permits have been applied for," County spokesman William Boyer told exclusively.

"The County is, however, ready, willing and able to help the current owners of the property with a memorial or funeral for Mr. Jackson.  And our condolences and heartfelt prayers go out to Mr. Jackson's family.

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Jackson lost control of his 2800-acre Santa Ynez Valley property when he defaulted on the loan in 2008. Local billionaire Tom Barrack bought the mortgage and set-up a new co-venture with Jackson on the ownership.

Spokesman Boyer added that The County's fire, sheriff and public works departments are all being "mobilized" for the onslaught of visitors.

Santa Barbara County Fire spokesman David Sedacki also told that "nothing has been confirmed at this time.  We have not been contacted by the Jackson family."  And the California Highway Patrol spokesman offered, "This isn't California news; it's international news."

Property owners in Santa Barbara County's bucolic Santa Ynez Valley are hoping the Jacksons and not the taxpayers assume financial responsibility for the event. Wineries, vineyards and horse pastures dot the area and memories are still raw from the traffic and security problems that sometimes arose when Jackson was in residence at the ranch.

"We have narrow two-lane roads that are not built to handle the kind of traffic this memorial will bring in," Foxen Winery co-owner Dick Dore told exclusively.  "There are security concerns, and there is the cost of all the extra law enforcement and traffic control. We're hoping that the Jackson estate will take on at least some of the cost."


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