Monday, November 18, 2019     Volume: 20, Issue: 37

Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on October 15th, 2019, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 20, Issue 33 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 20, Issue 33

Lompoc looks to grant funds to replace playground equipment

By Zac Ezzone

With budget constraints hindering its ability to fund certain projects, the city of Lompoc is looking toward state grant funds to improve its parks.

In August, the city submitted grant applications for millions of dollars in improvements at Pioneer and Johns-Manville parks through California’s Proposition 68 grant program. On a smaller scale, the city is also planning to apply for $200,000 in grant funding to install new playground equipment at Beattie Park. 

At a budget meeting in May this year, Public Works Director Michael Luther said a lot of the city’s park equipment needs to be improved or replaced.

“We have a real critical need for playground equipment replacement, repairs,” Luther said.

Beattie Park needs new playground equipment after the city removed two pieces of equipment from the park in July. The equipment was determined to be unsafe during a state-mandated safety inspection that took place earlier this year, city Recreation Manager Mario Guerrero said. 

In addition to replacing this playground equipment, the city plans to use the funding to resurface the playground’s floor and create pathways to and around the playground to comply with Americans with Disabilities Act regulations.

Guerrero said the city is guaranteed to receive $200,000 through a Proposition 68 grant program for these improvements at Beattie Park. However, the city also applied through a different program for money to improve Pioneer and Johns-Manville parks, funding that is not guaranteed.

“Pioneer and Johns-Manville parks were competitive grants,” Guerrero said. “This is a per capita grant that we’re guaranteed $200,000.” 

In a previous conversation with the Sun, Guerrero said the infrastructure at both Pioneer and Johns-Manville parks—including fencing, playground equipment, concession stands, and bathrooms—is three to four decades old and needs to be replaced. At the time, he estimated both projects would cost between $5 million to $6 million.

The state’s Proposition 68 grant program was established after voters approved a $4 billion bond referendum in June 2018. Funds from this program are used to facilitate park projects in low-income neighborhoods.

The city expects to hear back from the state on all of these applications in January 2020.

Weekly Poll
Should school districts invest more into vocational and career technical programs?

Yes. Students need to get on a career path as soon as possible.
No. It's more important for students to learn study skills than specific disciplines.
No. District should save money by partnering with businesses to offer more internships.
Yes, but only if these programs also count for college credit.

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