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

Mid-year budget adjustments fund river park, community center park

Joe Naiman

Village News Reporter

The mid-year budget adjustments approved Tuesday, Dec. 5, by the San Diego County Board of Supervisors established additional funding for the future San Luis Rey River Park and the Fallbrook Community Center park.

The supervisors’ 5-0 vote budgeted additional amounts of $2,653,624.63 for the river park and $100,000 for the community center park. The action also corrected an insufficient appropriation to the North County Fire Protection district from assessments collected from the Horse Creek Ridge community facilities district.

The San Luis Rey River Park boundaries are yet to be determined and land will be acquired only from willing sellers. The river park will stretch for nine 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 county supervisors approved the master plan for the river park in September 2008, and that action also certified the Programmatic Environmental Impact Report for the master plan. Although the original master planning effort for the San Luis Rey River Park is complete it will be updated over time as land is acquired and areas are developed. If enough significant changes warrant a new master plan the county’s Department of Parks and Recreation will request additional funding from the county board of supervisors.

Bonsall Community Park is sometimes referred to as the Moosa Downs Active Recreation Node of the San Luis Rey River Park. Bonsall Community Park will be located near the intersection of state Route 76 and Camino Del Rey. The park will total 63 acres including 55 acres to be developed. The amenities will include soccer fields, baseball or softball fields, basketball courts, tennis courts, a skate park, a bicycle skills park, playgrounds, multi-use pathways, picnic areas, a dog park and restrooms. If funding permits the initial construction contract will include a photovoltaic energy system utilizing carport roofs.

Currently the total estimated cost for Bonsall Community Park is $29,960,000. The mid-year budget adjustments transfer the $2,653,624.63 from the master plan capital project balance to the Bonsall Community Park capital project. Construction is expected to begin in 2024 and be complete in 2026.

County Service Area No. 81 covers parks in Fallbrook, De Luz and Rainbow. The governing body of a county service area is the county board of supervisors, although a CSA No. 81 advisory board is made up of local residents appointed by the county board of supervisors. County Service No. 81 obtains its funding from a share of property tax revenue. The mid-year budget adjustments appropriated a $100,000 past year balance from the CSA No. 81 budget to complete an unanticipated one-time major maintenance project which will close and secure a well at the Fallbrook Community Center park.

A community facilities district includes a special tax to pay for services not funded by the regular property tax. The CFD for Horse Creek Ridge was created in 2014 and allows for the collection of three special taxes: one for county services, one for flood control services – although the county supervisors also serve as the board of the San Diego County Flood Control District and the flood control district is administered by the county’s Department of Public Works, it is a separate legal district – and one for fire and emergency medical services.

A Joint Community Facilities Agreement stipulates the collection process as well as the distribution process, and part of the collected assessment is disbursed to the North County Fire Protection District.

An insufficient appropriation in the CFD budget led to the correction which transferred $30,420 of the fund balance to support costs incurred by the North County Fire Protection District. The administrative bookkeeping task does not provide the fire district with any additional money, although subsequent invoices will be paid based on the fire district’s share of the assessed amount.

The mid-year budget changes also appropriated an additional $335,000 for the Palomar Mountain fire station. As part of the remodel of that station the San Diego County Fire Protection District needs an emergency water retention tank and a pumping system which will enable the quick filling of fire trucks, so that was added to the renovation budget.


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