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Mitchell Park parking lot gets funding approval

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The controversial Mitchell Park parking lot, which will serve the senior center in San Luis Obispo, won about $200,000 in funding at a time when many other prospective capital improvements face cuts. The vote was 3-2, with Christine Mulholland and Allen Settle opposed.

Both complained that an in-depth environmental assessment has not been done on the project since it was in the concept phase. They also noted the city is preparing for tough economic times. The council will meet Sept. 30 for a special meeting to discuss new budget issues.

City council members hashed out details of the parking lot, which will accommodate 14 cars but requires the removal of three street parking spaces, for a net 11 parking spaces. Two of those will be reserved for parking for the disabled. The estimated cost of each space is more than $20,000.

In May, the parking lot was projected to cost $195,000, with $70,00 coming directly from the city’s fund for senior services, and the rest from a “completed projects” account. More recently, staff determined that the cost was closer to $250,000. To cut down on the project’s cost, the council voted on several money-saving options, such as a chain-link fence between the playground and parking lot instead of one made of wrought iron. Ultimately they decided to swap stamped and decorative concrete for asphalt. That is expected to save $60,000.

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