Also serving the communities of De Luz, Rainbow, Camp Pendleton, Pala and Pauma

Supervisors update CINA

Joe Naiman

Village News Reporter

The most recent update of the County of San Diego’s Capital Improvement Needs Assessment was approved at the March 14 San Diego County Board of Supervisors meeting.

The supervisors' 5-0 vote approved the CINA, which reflects the county's facilities needs. The approval of the needs assessment itself did not include funding for projects on the list, although the supervisors also directed Chief Administrative Officer Helen Robbins‑Meyer to determine timing and funding mechanisms to implement the individual projects. Hearings on the county's 2023-24 budget with public input are scheduled for June 5-14 with budget deliberation and adoption likely taking place June 27.

The updated needs assessment covers facilities projects slated for improvement between Fiscal Year 2023-24 and Fiscal Year 2027-28. The five-year plan includes an estimated $1.28 billion of unfunded or partially funded projects. The planned 2023‑24 expenditures total $264.7 million. The list has 89 projects including 17 slated for 2023-24 full or partial funding.

The capital planning process which includes the CINA focuses on facilities, so road projects are not included on the capital improvements list. The county's Airport Enterprise Fund is derived from lease rent from businesses on County Airports land, so airport projects (which also utilize Federal Aviation Administration and State Division of Aeronautics grants) are not part of the CINA list.

A Facilities Planning Board prioritizes projects based on criteria including benefits and linkage to the county's strategic plan. 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 CINA program list.

Board of Supervisors Policy G-16, which addresses capital facilities and planning, was originally approved in 1997. When the county supervisors approved the five-year CINA plan in 2020 Policy G-16 was modified to identify separate pre-construction and construction phases. Funding may be recommended primarily for pre-construction, which includes identifying and acquiring a site, with the project being recommended for construction after the pre-construction phase is complete.

The project with the highest 2023-24 expense is the design and construction of a public health lab at the County Operations Center. The $134,459,377 estimated cost includes $75.5 million for the lab itself, $33 million for an additional parking garage, and $25.1 million for County Operations Center consolidation expenses. The cost total includes $19,605,050 already funded with the remaining $114,854,327 programmed for Fiscal Year 2023-24.

The largest expense for any capital project is the Multiple Species Conservation Program land acquisition which also covers design, environmental analysis, and construction costs of any fencing or other facilities needed for the open space preserves. The $294,000,000 total estimated expense includes $170,420,846 already funded. The CINA programs $7,500,000 in Fiscal Year 2023-24, $7,500,000 for Fiscal Year 2024-25, $10,000,000 during Fiscal Year 2025-26, $10,000,000 in Fiscal Year 2026-27, and $10,000,000 for Fiscal Year 2027-28.

The largest unfunded project is the stormwater program which will design and construct large-scale regional green infrastructure projects and other stormwater projects to meet statewide stormwater mandates. None of the $201,720,209 estimated cost has been funded and over the next five fiscal years the plan is to spend $23,236,309 during 2023-24, $39,685,600 in 2024-25, $43,441,600 during 2025‑26, $43,645,600 in 2026-27, and $51,711,100 during 2027‑28.

The San Luis Rey 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 stretch for 9 miles and encompass approximately 1,600 acres.

The park will provide open space areas including trails, staging areas, and habitat preservation and will also include active recreation land such as ball fields, play areas and picnic facilities. The total estimated cost of $64,117,463 includes $37,417,483 which has already been funded. The CINA calls for spending of $3,460,000 during 2024-25, $25,540,000 in 2025-26, and $2,400,000 during 2026-27.

The Keys Creek Preserve capital project involves the design, environmental review, and construction of Via Piedra Road to create a staging area driveway which safely connects to West Lilac Road. The amenities will include parking spaces, fencing, benches, signage, kiosks and trash containers. None of the $3,800,000 estimated expenses were previously included in funding allocations. The CINA earmarks funding of $750,000 for 2024-25 and $3,050,000 in 2026-27.

Three maintenance and storage buildings geographically allocated to North County, South County, and East County will house replacement parts for park playgrounds and other Department of Parks and Recreation assets. The design, environmental analysis, and construction of the three buildings has an estimated cost of $4,100,000 although none of that is already funded. The CINA programs $600,000 for 2024-25 and $3,500,000 during 2025-26.

The Department of Parks and Recreation countywide projects also include the design, environmental analysis, and construction of photovoltaic carports in existing parking areas. None of the $3,300,000 estimated cost has been funded and the CINA calls for $600,000 in 2024-25, $1,200,000 during 2025-26, $300,000 in 2026-27, and $1,200,000 for 2027-28.

The county plans to locate a Sheriff's station near the junction of Interstate 15 and State Route 76. The Sheriff's station will have approximately 37,000 square feet of space. The land acquisition, design, and construction has an estimated cost of $47,814,000 including $3,214,000 already funded. The five-year plan calls for the remaining $44,500,000 to be spent during 2025-26.

A bicycle skills course at a North County location to be determined has a $3,250,000 estimated cost. The CINA programs $550,000 in 2025‑26 and $2,700,000 for 2027-28.

A future local park in the Pala/Pauma Valley area will encompass approximately four acres and will include a sports field and a playground. The land acquisition, design, environmental analysis, and construction is expected to cost $3,700,000. The initial $1,500,000 spending is slated to occur in 2026-27.

A project currently called Fallbrook Western Park will begin with the acquisition of land to establish the new local park. The CINA expects that to be an $8,000,000 expense with the first $2,500,000 being funded in 2027-28.


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