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By Joe Naiman
Village News Correspondent 

Don Dussault Park, revitalization committee allocated CDBG funding


Last updated 4/22/2019 at 9:54am

The projects selected for 2019-2020 Community Development Block Grant funding include Phase III of the Don Dussault Park improvements and costs of the Fallbrook Revitalization Committee.

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted 5-0, April 9, approved the plan and authorized the acceptance of the funds expected to be awarded. An additional recommendation directed the county’s chief administrative officer to review the list of alternative projects to see if funding might be available from the CDBG program or from other sources. The allocations include $303,120 for Don Dussault Park and $10,714 for eight revitalization committees including the one which will be created for Fallbrook.

Community Development Block Grant projects are intended to revitalize lower-income communities. The proposals were selected based on criteria which 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. The allocations are based on 2019-2020 entitlement figures from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which provides funding for the programs.

The supervisors allocated $681,680 for the Don Dussault Park improvements, a sidewalk project in Lincoln Acres, and disabled access improvements for Ramona Town Hall. An additional $2,333,640 was earmarked for eight regional projects including housing projects and the revitalization committees throughout the county. The CDBG allocations also include $667,000 for planning and administration. The county also administers the CDBG program for six incorporated cities as well as for the unincorporated area and for regional projects.

Although the projects will likely be exempt from California Environmental Quality Act review, the federal funding makes them subject to National Environmental Protection Act review which could include a finding of no significant impact.

Don Dussault Park is a 3/4-acre recreational facility off Alturas Road near the intersection of Aviation Road. The planned improvements were divided into phases for funding reasons. Phase I, which was constructed in 2014, included the replacement of the children’s playground structure with one meeting Americans with Disabilities Act standards, a new tot lot, a picnic shade pavilion, ADA-compliant parking stalls, ADA-accessible exercise stations placed intermittently along an ADA-accessible path, perimeter fencing, irrigation, picnic tables, a barbecue and a drinking fountain.

The 2018-2019 CDBG allocations included $302,945 for the Phase II improvements at Don Dussault Park. Phase II is expected to include an adult outdoor exercise area, picnic areas with tables, additional paths meeting ADA standards, additional security lighting, landscaping and irrigation. The Phase II improvements are now officially considered speculative because the actual improvements and their locations have not yet been designed. A construction contract will be awarded after the design and environmental review work has been completed.

Phase III will include a playground structure for children between the ages of 5 and 12, perimeter fencing, additional paths meeting ADA standards, security lighting, landscaping and irrigation. The Phase III improvements are expected to be complete in June 2020.

“Very pleased to be able to move forward on that project,” Department of Parks and Recreation Director Brian Albright said.

In February 1996, the board of supervisors activated a community revitalization program for several unincorporated communities in San Diego County. The committees include regular meetings, coordination of community resources and direct connection to county staff and resources. After the committee establishes goals committee members work with county staff to achieve those goals based on available resources.

Community revitalization committees are currently active in Alpine, the East County backcountry, Lakeside, Ramona and Spring Valley. A March 12 board of supervisors’ vote directed the county’s chief administrative officer to establish and activate revitalization committees for Fallbrook, Valley Center and Borrego Springs.

The $10,714 CDBG allocation for the revitalization committees includes $714 for environmental review.

“These will bring county resources to the community,” Supervisor Jim Desmond said. “These communities don't have locally elected officials, so we want to make sure their voice is being heard.”

The alternative list consists of 13 projects with a total estimated cost of $4,133,976. The alternative projects consist of three regional projects, three Fallbrook sidewalk projects totaling $1,320,000, three San Diego County Regional Fire Authority projects totaling $195,000, a Ramona sidewalk, an asphalt overlay for the Ramona Senior Center, a Lakeside sidewalk and a Spring Valley sidewalk.

Although the official motion was to direct the chief administrative officer to review the entire list to determine if funding was available, the board of supervisors’ discussion focused on the San Diego County Regional Fire Authority projects.

“They depend on us 100%,” Desmond said. “I’d like to see that they are taken care of.”

One of those county Fire Authority projects would purchase security boxes to allow fire and emergency response vehicles to enter residential and business gates with security boxes. The $125,000 estimated cost would provide such security boxes for the DeLuz, Boulevard, Campo, Jacumba, Pine Valley, Potrero, Shelter Valley, Sunshine Summit and Warner Springs stations. A $40,000 project would provide photovoltaic electricity systems for the Shelter Valley and Sunshine Summit stations. The purchase of an extractor and commercial dryer for the Boulevard station which would clean carcinogens from firefighter turnout gear has a $30,000 cost estimate.

The alternative list project which would design and construct approximately 600 feet of sidewalk including curbs, gutters, and pedestrian ramps along the north side of West Aviation Road between South Mission Road and South Main Avenue has a $550,000 cost estimate. The design and construction of approximately 450 feet of sidewalk from 229 West Alvarado Street to 111 West Alvarado Street has an expected price of $430,000. Design and construction of approximately 230 feet of sidewalk between 410 Ammunition Road and 420 Ammunition Road has an anticipated cost of $340,000.

A citizen request to fund a Street to Success Program in Fallbrook was deemed not to be an eligible project.


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