The City of Crescent City held two townhall meetings – one on Sept. 10, the other on the17th – to discuss Beachfront Park renovations and California Proposition 68 funding. City officials said they were appreciative of the turnout.
“There were a lot of really great ideas,” said City Manager Eric Wier. “We had some really great public input.”
Proposition 68, or more formally the California Drought, Water, Parks, Climate, Coastal Protection, and Outdoor Access for All Act of 2018,” is a $4.1-million bond to renovate state and local parks.
The Crescent City meetings were not meant to make decisions about the park. Rather, their purpose was to look at Beachfront Park overall and allow the public to express ideas for renovations and new projects, said Wier.
More than 40 people attended both meetings and brought plenty of suggestions, among them to use the land to create a labyrinth, a pickleball court and for disc golf improvements. City officials also heard strong support for a previously planned amphitheater, and for improved access and lighting throughout the park.
Now, the city will use a $25,000 grant from the California Endowment Through Building Healthy Communities to hire a consultant for in-depth community outreach. The consultant will sample residents who represent different segments of the community to ensure everyone has a say in the proposed park projects.
Once city officials are so informed, they’ll gather the project ideas that fit within a range of $200,000 to present to the City Council on Oct. 14. The first round of funding the city expects to receive through Proposition 68 will be a minimum of $200,000.
The city put together a park renovation master plan in 2011, but lacked funds for the entire plan. Now, the city has the opportunity for additional funding - but Wier said he wants to interject residents’ most-recent suggestions into that scheme.
“It gives us a better understanding of our community,” Wier said. “This hopefully will give us that opportunity to engage people who couldn’t get to that earlier meeting.”
The in-depth community outreach also will help Crescent City put together a relevant plan that has the opportunity to ensure its funding. “The goal is to be set up for the very competitive grants with Proposition 68,” Wier said.
“Grants are a maximum of 8.5 million. So, we’re putting together a grant application that we think we have a strong [chance] of getting funded.”