The Crescent City Council approved a resolution Oct. 21 authorizing the administration to take the next step in applying for state funds to improve Beachfront Park.
The Proposition 68 Per Capita Funds are part of the Parks and Water Bond Act of 2018, which voters approved to allocate $185 million for park rehabilitation. Crescent City’s portion of that would be at least $200,000 for improving recreational opportunities at Beachfront Park.
After the city hosted community outreach meetings and town hall, and compiled online input, the top suggestions for the funds included expanding Kids Town, a bike pump track, disc golf and a labyrinth.
Holly Wendt, the city’s recreation director, said the resolution does not at this point require the city to identify the projects it’s eyeing for the $200,000 in non-competitive funds.
“After this step, we’ll work with community members to get the project scope and cost, then come back to the council in January,” Wendt said.
City Manager Eric Wier said the exact dollar amount Crescent City would get is not yet known, but he anticipates the state releasing the funds relatively soon. “We’re expecting to receive the funds in early 2020,” he told council members.
“If that’s the case, we’ll go through finalization of the design itself, procure any permits we’ll need for the construction, then be able to begin construction. We’re hopeful we’ll begin construction in 2020.”
Before approving the resolution, Mayor Blake Inscore addressed his concern of guaranteeing a timeline to the community given that most of the factors are out of control of the city.
“If we begin communicating we’ll be building this next summer, and the reality is we have to face the state allocation of these funds, my experience has been we never get them as quickly as they say they will,” Inscore said.
“I’m just trying to be cautious, so we can keep our community engaged and we don’t over-promise something that we can’t deliver because we don’t have control over this.”
Wendt assured the City Council that community engagement remains a high priority throughout the process. “Continuing conversation with the community and building rapport, honesty and transparency is really important. I hope to continue to build that relationship with the community.
“So when I say we’re on time, we’re doing our part and we’re going to be ready for this. And should there be delays from the state, we’ll have venues and ways to keep the public updated,” Wendt said.