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Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on August 20th, 2019, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 20, Issue 25 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 20, Issue 25

Guadalupe is ready for some parks and rec

By William D'Urso

The city of Guadalupe plans to create a new five-person recreation commission to spend $4.5 million the city received in state grant funding.

The commission was re-established on Aug. 13 during the Guadalupe City Council meeting. Mayor Ariston Julian said it was one of the city’s top priorities.

“We felt, and the community felt, we had to re-establish the parks and recreation commission,” he said.

The city used to have its own staff to plan and manage programs like softball and basketball, or other projects like park maintenance. But when the city went through budget problems in 2012, there were cuts, and the budget was axed for the city’s playing fields and parks.

The city’s other priorities are nearly reached, Julian said. The city is in the black for fiscal year 2019-20, though it’s still paying down some debts. And the City Council has mobilized on plans to support a new chamber of commerce or merchant association using the Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce as a template. 

But the parks and recreation commission has long been a priority.

“To participate, we have to go to Santa Maria for Little League,” Julian said. “Re-establishing the parks and recreation commission is so kids don’t have to go to Santa Maria to play, so parents don’t have to go Santa Maria to watch their kids.”

Julian said the city wants to deploy the funds to LeRoy Park to renovate the Boys & Girls Club building there, which hasn’t housed the club for 20 years.

He said the building is in disrepair, needs to be cleared of mold, and needs a series of renovations including to the bathroom. The question now is who takes the lead on the renovation project. The city, Julian said, wants to loop in the Boys & Girls Clubs of Mid Central Coast and figure out whether they can take the lead on the project. 

A parks and recreation commission, Julian said, would help figure out how to get the LeRoy Park project and others to the finish line. But the larger goal of the commission is to seek out further state funding to build out local soccer, baseball, and football fields. The city also wants to zero in on plans to revamp the playing fields at Jack O’Connell Park.

“We used to have our own facilities, and we want to get back to that,” Julian said. 




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