Thursday, June 24, 2021


Cities looking for grant funding for park projects

The cities of Colusa and Williams are applying for state funding that could help check off a number of park projects on their wish lists.

City officials in both towns said they would be going after money awarded by the state from Proposition 68, the California park, environment, and water bond that voters approved in 2018.

The bond authorized $4 billion in general obligation bonds for state and local parks in socio-economically disadvantaged communities. The deadline to apply is Dec. 14.

“These are very competitive grants,” said Colusa City Manager, Jesse Cain, at a series of workshops the city has held to get public input.

Cain said Colusa is applying for the maximum five grants totaling about $8.5 million, and would hope to get at least two or three.

City Administrator Frank Kennedy said Williams is applying for three, possibly four grants.

Both cities, Colusa County, and local park districts are automatically eligible to receive smaller per capita (no cash match) allocations, which they can also use for park rehabilitation projects, officials said.

The California Department of Parks and Recreation announced in July that $200 million would be made available for more than 700 agencies to support rehabilitation, creation, and improvements to local parks to address deficiencies in neighborhoods lacking access to outdoor recreation facilities.

Colusa has tentatively earmarked the $177,000 they will receive from Prop 68 to build the splash pad at Davison Park, next to the city pool, which they estimate will cost about $150,000, although not yet been approved by the City Council.

“It’s really up to the community,” Cain said.

Colusa officials have hosted a number of community meetings about park improvements in order to gauge what the community still wants in terms of new facilities.

The city’s Master Park Plan, which officials are updating to submit with the grant applications, was created in 2009. The plan or “wish list” then included a dog park, a skateboard park, and a bocce court, along with restroom upgrades at various parks.

Since then, there has been increased interest in indoor facilities that can accommodate a number of youth programs, such as martial arts, dance, and gymnastics, Cain said.

In 2018, the Williams City Council and Park and Recreation Commission prioritized projects they had identified in their Capital Improvement Plan.

Williams plans to apply for grants for improvements at Venice Park/Old Gym, located near the Sacramento Valley Museum, improvements to the soccer facility at Valley Vista Park, new restrooms and play equipment in Silver Leaf Park, and the required improvements at the City Pool, which would also include new shade structures.

“We all know the pool needs to be done, and we have other needs in the parks,” Kennedy said.

Williams’ per capita allotment is also $177,952, the same as the allocation for all local park districts. Colusa County’s allocation is $400,000, according to the state.

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