Park projects take step back

A PLDO project champion wants to use this natural amphitheater area in Ramona Community Park for concerts and  events. Sentinel file photo
A PLDO project champion wants to use this natural amphitheater area in Ramona Community Park for concerts and  events. Sentinel file photo

By Karen Brainard

Proponents for three projects recommended for Park Land Dedication Ordinance (PLDO) funds have had to take a step back to go through the proper channels.

Nearly $700,000 is available in PLDO funds for recreational uses in Ramona. The county charges the park fee with residential building permits.

Three of the projects on the eight-item PLDO Priority List — an amphitheater,  Ramona soccer field expansion and Girls Softball LED scoreboards ­— are in Ramona Community Park, which is owned by the Ramona Municipal Water District (RMWD). The water district leases the land to the Ramona Parks and Recreation Association (RPRA), which is responsible to make sure all activities meet the insurance and permit requirements of the lease, said RMWD General Manager David Barnum.

Ray Cardona, RPRA president, said the project proponents should have approached RPRA with their plans instead of the water district.

It’s just a matter of steps, he said, explaining, “all comes through us and we refer to the water district.”

Barnum said RPRA must submit insurance certificates and site designs and maps so the water district can review and ensure the projects are compliant with state and local laws.

“We can’t take action from individuals,” he said.

Once the water district confirms that a project meets all requirements, it gets approval from the water board to amend the lease with RPRA. The board can amend the lease  for several projects at a time, Barnum said.

On Feb. 14, Barnum reported that the district engineer reviewed and approved the plans and site for the LED scoreboards.

In November 2013, the Ramona Community Planning Group recommended the county release a portion of PLDO funds for the scoreboards and the amphitheater, based on information from the group’s Parks and Recreation Subcommittee that the projects were “essentially funded and ready to go.”

Art Thomsen, project champion for the naturally-designed amphitheater, requested $27,500 for fencing, sod and seed. Jeff Moody, project champion for the LED scoreboards, asked for $40,000 of PLDO money.

Cardona said permits may be needed for the scoreboards and amphitheater. The amphitheater plans will take a while to review for compliance because it is believed that Indian artifacts are near the site, said Cardona.

The third PLDO project for the park is converting a Ramona Adult Softball field to a Ramona Soccer League field. Cardona said both groups have agreed to the swap and he did not believe there would be additional requirements. That project was not considered ready for PLDO funds by the Parks and Recreation Subcommittee in November.

   
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