SLO skate parkin the works--finally



In a discussion of its major goals for the 2013-15 fiscal years, the San Luis Obispo City Council heard from staff that money had been set aside to finally get the wheels rolling on the construction of a much-needed new skateboarding park.

On April 9, the council showed support for staff’s earmarking of roughly $1.2 million to build the 15,500-square foot Santa Rosa Skate Park, now nearly a decade in the making.

The money would come from a combination of public funds—including Measure Y dollars—donations, and grant funding, where possible. Though the project will in reality come to about $2.2 million for construction and management costs, the city has nearly $1 million in reserve from a parkland development fund allocation in the 2009-11 financial plan. An additional $6,000 to $37,000 is expected to be needed for ongoing park maintenance, depending on the final scope of the project, but that will be considered in the 2015-17 financial plan process.

According to a city staff report, the planning phase is approximately 98 percent complete and a use permit was approved by the city planning commission in January 2011, and the architectural review committee signed off in March 2011. But the hang up since has been funding for construction.

As is true with most public finance forums, the skate park allocation spurred calls from other interest groups for increased funding; the cycling community, for example, called for more spending on bike paths and other cycling-related infrastructure improvements.

Should all go according to plan, construction for the skate park project should begin in June 2014, and be completed by January 2015.

The 2013-15 budget is set to go before the four council members in June. Should the evenly split council fail to reach a majority vote on any of budget items, they could “donut hole” it, explained City Manager Katie Lichtig. That would essentially approve the remainder of the budget and allow for the council to return to the unresolved item separately at a later date.

However, given the council’s vocal support so far, it appears the skate park, for once, won’t get the donut hole.

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