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By Joe Naiman
Village News Correspondent 

Capital Improvement Needs Assessment Program list updated


Last updated 6/11/2018 at 11:58am

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors approved an update to the county’s Capital Improvement Needs Assessment Program list.

The supervisors’ 5-0 vote in March approved the five-year needs assessment provided by the county’s Department of General Services. The approval of the needs assessment itself did not include funding for the projects on the list, but the supervisors also directed county Chief Administrative Officer Helen Robbins-Meyer to determine timing and funding mechanisms to implement the individual projects.

“The list of projects is very impressive,” Supervisor Ron Roberts said. These capital improvements are significant.”

The plan has $1.3 billion of active funded projects, although 14 of those are not fully funded, and $24.6 million of the projects on that list are recently completed facilities. The 71 partially funded and unfunded priority projects whose timing and funding mechanisms are to be determined have an estimated cost of $347 million.

“It’s a significant investment over the next five years,” Roberts said.“I’m glad to see it happening.”

The updated needs assessment covers facilities projects slated for capital improvement between 2018 and 2023. The capital planning process which includes the Capital Improvement Needs Assessment Program focuses on facilities, so road projects are not included on the capital improvements list.

A Facilities Planning Board prioritizes projects based on criteria including benefits and linkage to the county’s strategic plan and ranks projects. Additional projects which have been identified but which require further analysis to define their scope will be brought to the board of supervisors in the future for addition onto the Capital Improvement Needs Assessment Program list.

The highest active project still needing funding is the planned juvenile justice urban campus, and a phased renovation of the County Administration Center ranks second. Third on the list of active projects is land acquisition for the Multiple Species Conservation Program. The county has already purchased more than 19,600 acres for the MSCP and anticipates the acquisition of nearly 12,500 additional acres. The estimated cost to acquire that remaining amount is $294 million and $139,032,451 of that has already been funded.

The San Luis Rey River Park ranks eighth on the list of active projects. The needs assessment plan addresses land acquisition and development of the planned recreation areas. The river park boundaries are yet to be determined and land will be acquired only from willing sellers, so the total acquisition cost estimate may require adjustment. The river park will cover approximately 1,600 acres, and the linear park will stretch for approximately nine miles.

The San Luis Rey River Park acquisition and improvement plan requires an expected $63,378,883, including $14,189,040 which has already been funded. In July 2005, the board of supervisors appropriated $5 million to purchase land for the river park, and the county’s 2006-07 budget provided an additional $3 million. The county has already acquired 668 acres, and approximately 700 acres will be transferred to county ownership as part of the California Department of Transportation mitigation requirements for the widening of state Route 76. The estimated cost covers the acquisition of an additional 250 acres, including 40 to 60 acres for two active recreation sites.

The future San Luis Rey River Park will provide open space areas including trails, staging areas and habitat preservation. Since those open space areas are for the most part within the draft MSCP boundaries, the MSCP funding will be available to purchase open space land within the river park. The river park plans also include active recreation fields such as ball fields, play areas and picnic facilities; the active recreation land would not be eligible for MSCP funding.

A phased approach to provide a trail system, a staging area and both active recreation nodes does not restrict those four phases to being constructed in any order. The construction of trails throughout the park including land acquisition, design and environmental analysis has a $29 million cost estimate. Development of the 40-acre Dulin Road active recreation node including design, environmental analysis and road improvements has an expected cost of $20.5 million for the sports fields, sports courts, recreation building and parking lot. The 55-acre Moosa active recreation node would include disc golf, playgrounds, a staging area and other active recreation amenities and is expected to cost $12.95 million including design and environmental expenses. The design, environmental analysis and construction of the Flowerwood staging area which would also include fencing, trash cans, hitching posts, shade structures and picnic tables is a $750,000 project.

A new health services complex heads the list of projects awaiting specific approval. The Mount Laguna fire station ranks second and the Casa De Oro library is third.

A bicycle skills course at an undetermined North County location ranks 16th. The environmental analysis, permitting, design and construction phases have an estimated total cost of $500,000. The course would include a jump track, progressive jumps and other skills elements.

Phase I of improvements to Don Dussault Park have been completed. Phase II, which would add a junior play structure, picnic areas, exercise equipment, paths, landscaping and irrigation, ranks 18th among the 71 projects expected to be specifically approved in the future. The county has earmarked $312,368 for the project whose estimated cost is $615,000. The Phase II improvement work is currently in the planning stage.

Some county parks have on-site volunteers who live in trailers, and the 20th-ranked project would spend $450,000 to construct new pads which include covered photovoltaic parking and water generation. None of that amount is currently funded.

New to the list is the 47th-ranked project to construct a playground on the Bonsall Elementary School campus. In addition to $250,000 of funding, an agreement between the county and the Bonsall Unified School District would also be a prerequisite. A skateboarding park in Fallbrook ranks 50th and would require $582,000 along with an agreement with the entity managing the land.

The 57th-ranked project would construct exercise stations and disc golf facilities on San Luis Rey River Park land. That project has a cost estimate of $680,000, none of which is funded.

A new park in Fallbrook with a size of approximately five acres ranks 60th. The eventual improvements would include a soccer field, sports courts and a playground. The estimated acquisition and development cost is $2,000,000. Acquisition and development of a new local park in the Pala-Pauma area, which would be approximately four acres and include a sports field and a playground, ranks 65th on the list and has a cost estimate of $1,500,000.

Constructing a pickleball court and picnic improvements at Rainbow Park is ranked 70th. The estimated cost for that project is $300,000.

“Lots of good projects out there,” Brian Albright, the director of the county’s Department of Parks and Recreation, said.

“This is an incredible effort,” Supervisor Dianne Jacob said.

The projects within the Third Supervisorial District represented by board of supervisors’ Chair Kristin Gaspar include the planned juvenile justice campus and the Ronald McDonald House whose expansion is one of Gaspar’s desires.

“As chairwoman I am focusing on innovation,” she said.

“For the taxpayers, this pays dividends in many ways,” Roberts said.

Roberts noted that the projects utilize one-time funds.

“That’s been part of our mantra,” he said.

“Most of these projects we’re talking about will be paid for with cash,” Jacob said.

In June 2005 the board of supervisors approved a revision to Board of Supervisors Policy G-16 to create the annual Capital Improvement Needs Assessment process.

“We continue those efforts in this particular plan,” Jacob said.

“We have been investing over the years in improvements to facilities that are going to serve the public,” Supervisor Greg Cox said. “I’m just really proud of how far we’ve come.”

The county’s General Management System, which serves as the basic blueprint to guide the county’s operations, was implemented in 1998.

“This today is a great example of that kind of fiscal discipline,” Jacob said.

“I want to thank my colleagues for sticking to the plan and putting money aside,” Supervisor Bill Horn. “This has been a great improvement.”


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