The people of Nipomo might finally be able to ride in the town’s much-desired skate park by this time next year.
On January 25, the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to authorize budget adjustments to fill gaps in the skate park’s inflated construction costs. With the cost of labor rising, the engineer’s estimate pegged the funds required for the project at $2.7 million, about $1 million over budget.
While the SLO County Department of Parks and Recreation applied for two grants in December 2021 to fill the gap, they won’t know if those will be approved until this summer. At the board meeting, parks and recreation manager Nick Franco said they were running out of time and postponing construction would lead to even higher costs in the future.
“There is currently only $1.1 million available to do the construction. We don’t have enough money in the project to continue,” he told the meeting.
To save time and get construction started quickly, Parks and Rec met with the Debt Advisory Committee to request a $1.5 million bridging loan from the Tax Reduction Reserve Fund. Franco said that loan would be repaid by either of two grants, if awarded, and by future public facility fees. Following the approval of the Debt Advisory Committee, the Supervisory Board authorized the loan at the meeting. The board also approved the award of the construction contract to JJ Fisher Construction Inc.
A day before the board meeting, 4th District Supervisor Lynn Compton, who represents Nipomo, posted on her official Facebook page that tractors had started moving gas lines at Nipomo Community Park to help to the construction of the skate park. Franco said new times that the move was inevitable.
“We contracted with the gas company to do this work a few months ago and we were proceeding with this work regardless of the outcome of the board meeting yesterday,” he said. January 26. “Our park master plan calls for the development of recreational features at the location of the skate park, so at some point we had to move the gas line under park ownership. Even though the council had not approved the creation from the skate park, we were moving the gas line so we could remove that as any improvement issue in the future.”
Initiated in 2017, Nipomo’s skate park project is a long-standing need for the community. The upcoming site master plan included recommendations from local skaters who have participated in design workshops since 2018. The skate park is expected to be completed by late 2022 or early 2023.
Some Nipomo residents reacted enthusiastically to Compton’s Facebook post.
“Wonderful! The more our kids can get outside and move, the better!” said resident Amy Newman in one of the comments. Δ