The Vacaville City Council will consider a resolution to apply for grant funding to improve neighborhoods and parks in the Brown/Markham area at its Tuesday meeting.
In the 2018 primary election, California voters passed Proposition 68, also known as the Parks, Environment, and Water Bond Act of 2018. For the 2020-21 budget, the state has appropriated $395.3 million to the California Parks and Recreation Department from Prop. 68 funding. The state has now released the fourth round of the Statewide Park Development and Community Revitalization Program (SPP) grant application, allowing funds to be available for a competitive program to create new parks and recreation opportunities in underserved communities across California.
Three potential projects for Vacaville were outlined in a staff report by Fred Buderi, acting community development director; Emily Cantu, housing services director; and Kerry Walker, parks and recreation director.
The first item is the new amenities for Trower Park. Over the last few weeks, the Parks & Rec Department has collected 134 surveys citywide and conducted outreach to residents in the Brown Street and Markham Avenue neighborhoods to solicit feedback on what features people would like to see in the park. Staff have also tabled at five farmers’ markets and two Food Bank giveaways, canvassed the half-mile radius around the park with surveys and invited residents to participate in a virtual community meeting Sept. 30, Buderi, Cantu and Walker wrote.
Among the improvements most suggested include covered group picnic areas, a splash pad, an enhanced tot lot with additional play elements, areas for skateboarders, and a flat grass turf area. The estimated cost for the improvements is between $2.1 million and $2.7 million, the report’s authors wrote.
The second item is a master plan currently being developed for the city-owned property on Brown Street. Per the report, the site is planned to include a multipurpose city building to house the Department of Housing Services, community offices and shared meeting spaces for a nonprofit or other agency, and an outdoor recreation component.
“Because it is a new recreation amenity and public facility in a low-income and underserved park area under the SPP grant criteria, this could potentially be a strong application for the SPP grant,” the authors wrote.
The grant could possibly provide up to $8.5 million of the approximately $9 million to $10 million project costs, the authors wrote.
The third and final item on the table is a collection of planned improvements singularly known as the Brown-Markham Neighborhood Public Recreation Improvements Plan. These plans include revitalizing the Rocky Hill Trail corridor and identifying city-owned property at the south end of the trail for possible future expansion.
Staff have worked with the city’s grants management contractor to determine which of the projects would be the best to submit an application for the highly competitive grant funds, the authors wrote. Once a project is chosen, staff will prepare the application, which will be preceded by community outreach, such as surveys and meetings, to the neighborhood to determine what amenities would be included in the development. Applications must be finalized and submitted by Dec. 14.
On Tuesday, the council will consider three actions: approving the Brown-Markham Neighborhood Public Recreation Improvements Plan, approving the resolution to apply for SPP grant funds for any or all of the projects and directing staff to look into alternative funding sources should an SPP application not be accepted. Such alternate funding opportunities include other grants, Measure M and the Community Block Development Grant. Additional funding would be presented to the council for consideration at a later time.
In other business, the council will hear Opportunity House’s annual report and receive a report from the Other Post-Employment Benefits Advisory Group.
The council will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday. The Zoom link is Cov.zoom.us/s/99569804654?pwd=TENqcXhWcnlmYzEwbmt0MkdkTTdWZz09, and the password is 639925. Participants may also join by phone by dialing (267) 831 0333 or (301) 715 8592 or toll-free at (877) 853 5257 or (888) 475 4499. Participants may dial *67 before the number if they wish to keep their number from being displayed on the screen.
The meeting may also be viewed on Channel 26 or online at Youtube.com/user/CityofVacaville/videos.