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October 26, 2021

Monterey County seeks grant funding for park projects

Lake San Antonio and San Lorenzo Park among sites slated for improvement

MONTEREY COUNTY — Monterey County Public Works, Facilities and Parks Department will apply for millions of dollars in grants for park improvements at Lake San Antonio, San Lorenzo Park in King City and the county-owned property on East Laurel Drive in Salinas.

Each grant application is for $3 million and will be submitted in early November. According to Maia Carroll, the county’s communications coordinator, the state is expected to announce grant awards next spring.

If the county receives one or more awards, it would have about three years to complete the projects.

Monterey County Board of Supervisors gave the green light for these applications on Sept. 14, and a series of community meetings for public input as well as multiple presentations to the Parks Commission were held. 

These grant opportunities are under the Parks, Environment and Water Bond Act of 2018 (Proposition 68), which has three funding programs in the State’s 2020-21 Budget; the Statewide Park Program (SPP), Regional Park Program (RPP) and Rural Recreation and Tourism Program (RRT). 

“Projects were developed for each County Park, but we had to determine which project could be most successful in the competition for grant funds,” explained Interim Chief of Parks Bryan Flores. “Among those considerations are the pre-application costs, such as CEQA and annual maintenance and staffing, if the projects were awarded and completed.” 

The RPP and RRT grant opportunities are both competitive grant opportunities, with $23.1 million currently available in each program for the entire state. The SPP grant is also competitive, with $395.3 million available statewide.

Two projects have been proposed for the RPP at Lake San Antonio in South Monterey County; a new, outdoor amphitheater at North Shore, including a concession stand and bathroom renovations, and a new South Shore 50-boat slip marina complete with fuel dock and store.

Project Concept Plan for Lake San Antonio North Shore Amphitheater (Contributed Graphic)
Project Concept Plan for Lake San Antonio South Shore Marina (Contributed Graphic)

Earlier this year, Monterey County applied for an $8 million project for San Lorenzo Park under the SPP. If that application is unsuccessful, the county will downsize the project to $3 million to compete in the RPP. The San Lorenzo project has numerous components, such as a splash pad and outdoor education area.

Under the RRT, the proposed BMX Pump Track/Skate Park project would be located on county property at 855 East Laurel Drive. This location has a 1.7-acre area of undeveloped land, which the county said would be a “unique opportunity to provide an urban park within the City of Salinas.”

The project is located near the Salinas Regional Soccer Complex and First Tee Monterey sites and would enhance recreational activity in an underserved area of Salinas and the general public.

In addition to these competitive grants, Monterey County will also apply for $631,430 from the Proposition 68 Per Capita Program for park repairs. The Per Capita Program is a non-competitive grant program that allocates funds to counties for qualifying projects. 

Projects under this program include a new roof and chimney at the Buckeye BBQ area at Toro Park; replacing the bathroom roof at Jacks Peak Park; repairing electrical pedestals at campsites and converting mobile housing units to premium RV campsites at Lake San Antonio’s South Shore; and updating the modular unit for public laundry and replacing the public bathroom roof at Lake Nacimiento.

Project Concept Plan for new Salinas BMX Pump Track and Skate Park (Contributed Graphic)
Ryan Cronk
Ryan Cronk is the managing editor for King City Rustler and Salinas Valley Tribune, a unified publication of Greenfield News, Soledad Bee and Gonzales Tribune. He covers general news for South Monterey County and the surrounding communities.

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