Wednesday, August 12, 2020     Volume: 21, Issue: 23

Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on May 20th, 2020, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 21, Issue 12 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 21, Issue 12

Guadalupe's LeRoy Park, community center project could receive funding boost

By Malea Martin

Guadalupe recently applied for more funding to rehabilitate LeRoy Park and its community center.

Once considered Guadalupe’s “unofficial town square,” LeRoy Park and community center will see a $4.5 million grant— plus a potential extra $820,000 in funding— come to fruition when construction breaks ground later this year.

The park project, along with the city’s community resilience plan, already received $4.5 million from a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) in 2018. But because of the COVID-19 crisis, the CDBG program received additional funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, allowing the program to allocate more money—a 20 percent increase—to some previously funded projects.

Guadalupe’s LeRoy Park rehabilitation project fits the bill for this funding boost, according to Tom Brandeberry, CEO and president of the Rural Community Development Corporation of California. Brandeberry, who formerly ran the state’s CDBG program, started his nonprofit to help rural communities like Guadalupe make it through the the grant application process. His agency helped the city secure its original grant back and continues to help Guadalupe navigate new funding opportunities.

Brandeberry said that for Guadalupe to apply for the additional funds—$820,000—the city needed to submit a number of documents, including a resolution to apply that passed at the May 12 City Council meeting. After that, Brandeberry sent all the necessary documents to the state and told the Sun that Guadalupe should know whether it gets the funding within two to three weeks. 

In other news, Brandeberry said that the long awaited LeRoy Park and community center rehabilitation project is on track and moving forward.

“We’ve gone through all of the design process, the community involvement in determining what the revised park and community center should be, and the final plans and specs for the building being approved by the city,” he said.

From March 30 to April 30, the city accepted bids from contractors interested in completing the project. Brandeberry’s nonprofit is reviewing the bids and will make a recommendation for the City Council to consider at the May 26 meeting. 

Sonia Rios-Ventura, the nonprofit’s community development manager based in Guadalupe, told the Sun what a rehabilitated community center will mean for the city.

“[LeRoy Park] used to be the unofficial town square. It was where everything ended, like the parades they had, and if there were any big community events they would all be held there,” Rios-Ventura said. “That stopped once the building was deemed to be unfit to hold people inside. … I think that once that park is back and renovated, it will become the unofficial town square once again. I think it will help the community see that things are moving forward, things are changing, and the city’s working hard to better the community for everybody.”

Rios-Ventura said that while there is not yet an exact timeline, the city expects to break ground in late July or early August. 

Weekly Poll
What do you think of the Lompoc prison facilities' ways of mitigating the spread of COVID-19?

Definitely cruel and unusual—more people should have received home confinement.
It was certainly inhumane; inmates couldn't even shower for almost two weeks.
It was not great but was typical of our current institutions.
I think it was adequate given the situation.

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