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Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on February 12th, 2013, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 13, Issue 49 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 13, Issue 49

Lompoc says yes to a bicycle and moto-cross park

BY FRANK GONZALES

BMXers and mountain bikers of Lompoc rejoice! The Lompoc City Council voted on Feb. 5 to approve plans for a new bike park at River Bend Park. The council voted 4-0, with Mayor John Linn abstaining because his wife owns property near the project site.


Let’s ride!
Lompoc residents will have a blast this summer riding the ramps of their brand new bike park, to be located off of McLaughlin Road.
PHOTO COURTESY OF THE CITY OF LOMPOC

At the meeting, the council considered the new bike park plan because it had grown since its initial proposal. According to the agenda for the meeting, the park had grown from 3.95 acres to 6.15 acres. As part of the council’s approval, a memorandum of understanding was signed for the construction to begin later this month.

According city documents, construction should take no more than 120 days, leading to a spring opening. The bike park has had a long gestation; it was first proposed during an August 2008 Parks and Recreation Commission meeting.

“The BMX Park has moved around town repeatedly. Four different sites were reviewed. We actually got all the way through the approval process for a site, and we literally could have started [construction], and then we saw a better site and we started all over again,” Linn said.

“Could I have voted [on the bike park project], I would have been voting for it, you can bet on that,” he added.

A committee of citizens managed the project from the beginning. The group saw the bike park through its long development phase and will manage the park upon completion.

The facility will be paid for primarily through funds from the Healthy Lompoc Coalition. One of the main costs attached to the project was $50,000 for a new water line and meter. The city will also have annual costs of $1,000 related to water usage for the park’s maintenance.

According to city documents, the citizen committee hired the “premier builder of bike parks,” Hilride Progressive Development, to take on the design phase for $10,000. For Hilride to build the park, Linn estimated, the committee would have needed $250,000, which was infeasible.

Instead, local businesses agreed to build the park and have already begun to donate materials—such as a large quantity of dirt—and their services.

After the work is complete, Linn said, “Hilride will come in and look at everything that’s finished and certify that it’s built to their specifications.”

He added that a volunteer committee will oversee and pay for part of the park’s ongoing maintenance. The meeting’s agenda stipulated the need for a volunteer force, while Hilride compiled a detailed operations plan for the committee to follow in maintaining the facility.

As for what prospective BMXers can expect from the new destination when it opens, Linn said, “We will have a beautiful facility with three different skill levels of tracks—little guys, medium guys, and go like a bat out of hell—and then also a freestyle area. It’s really, really cool. I’m just too old to ride on it.”