County OKs federal money for park parking lot

   Of $2 million in federal money San Diego County Board of Supervisors approved recently for low-income community development, $148,500 will be used to pave the dirt overflow parking area at Collier Park in Ramona and $18,000 will pay to continue Supervisor Dianne Jacob’s revitalization committee meetings in Ramona and other unincorporated towns.

   On the alternative list are two Ramona projects: Ramona Boys and Girls Club request for $53,577 to install drought-tolerant and low-maintenance landscaping and an automatic irrigation system around new sports facilities near the Boys and Girls Club clubhouse and a request from others in the community for $20,000 for a food distribution program.

   The decision is part of the supervisors’ approval of the county’s 2010-11 funding plan for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), HOME Investment Partnerships, Emergency Shelter Grant, and Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS programs. The county administers the federal money earmarked for the programs.

   The supervisors’ 5-0 vote allocated $2 million to 21 projects in the unincorporated area. The motion also called for staff review of issues that caused a Lakeside sidewalks proposal across from a park to be deemed ineligible. County staff will report back to the board.

   CDBG projects are intended to revitalize lower-income communities. Proposals are selected based on criteria that include benefit to lower-income residents, health and safety considerations, the ability to leverage block grant funds into additional revenue, and availability of alternate funding sources, county staff reported. The allocations are based on 2009-10 entitlement figures from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which provides funding for the programs.

   In addition to serving as a community park, Collier Park is the site of the Ramona Boys and Girls Club.  In addition to paving the parking lot with asphalt, the work will provide concrete curbs, drainage and access sidewalks. Paving the parking lot will also allow for the creation of handicapped parking spaces. The $148,500 includes $2,500 for HCD oversight costs. The project has an estimated completion date of April 2011.

   The Ramona revitalization committee has been meeting twice a year since its creation in 1997. The revitalization meetings allow county staff to meet with residents, businesses, community planning groups and nonprofit organizations to identify and address issues that impact the community’s quality of life and economic vitality. The $18,000 of CDBG money will provide staff coordination and administration costs for the Ramona, Alpine, Lakeside, Spring Valley, and backcountry revitalization committees.

   Two Lakeside projects were deemed ineligible on the grounds that beneficiaries would include visitors from outside the area.

   One of those is the Lakeside Teen Center in Lindo Lake Park. That park surrounds Lindo Lake and also includes the Lakeside Community Center, the Lakeside branch library, Lakeside’s Veterans of Foreign Wars hall, trails, and playground and picnic facilities. The park’s northern boundary is the south side of Lakeshore Drive. The other project deemed ineligible due to visitor benefit was a proposal for sidewalks on the north side of Lakeshore Drive between Vine Street and Petite Lane. The north side of Lakeshore Drive is within Lakeside’s Neighborhood Revitalization Area; the northeast corner of Lakeshore and Vine includes a strip mall with a supermarket and laundromat, and apartment complexes are east of the strip mall and an elementary school extends to Petite Lane.

   “Completing the sidewalks on the north side would serve the residents,” said Lakeside’s Janis Shackelford. “Visitors aren’t likely to cross the street.”

   No one from Ramona spoke at the hearing.

   
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