May 31 2011

$1.1 Million More Proposed for Kids’ Sports Field

Capital Improvement Projects Recommendation Highlights:

  • $1.1 million for artificial turf and lights at Coaches Playfield (85% of available funding)
  • $200,000 split among 4 other projects.
  • Public input on use of remaining half of church building – 801 Magnolia

After presenting its recommendations to the City Council on May 21, the Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) Review Committee will be making a presentation at the Park Commission meeting on June 1st.  The CIP Recommendations for 2011-12 include:

  • Soliciting public input on ideas for possible uses of the unleased wing of the former church building at 801 Magnolia Avenue
  • Keeping any unused CIP dollars leftover from completed projects in the CIP fund

Proposed Spending:

  • 85% – $1,153,000 for Coaches Field to add artificial turf and lighting
    • $653,000 (previously allocated in prior year CIP,  but not spent)
    • $500,000 in Measure WW funds* (a one time source of funds – Piedmont’s share of the East Bay Regional Park Bond Fund available for parks and recreational facilities based on population)

  • 15% – split between 4 projects:

(3%) – $34,000 for fire hydrant for Corporation Yard

(5%) – $70,000 Ronada/Ramona Triangle (landscaping)

(1%) – $15,000 to replace City Hall Courtyard wall

(6%) – $75,000 for structural/seismic work for 801 Magnolia (non-leased portion only)

*The CIP Report lists $500,000 of Measure WW funds as “available funds” for Coaches Field. In response to a resident’s question of how Measure WW funds (voter approved regional bond fund money) could be allocated for Coaches Field turf when there had been no public discussion of how these taxpayer funds should be spent, Mayor Dean Barbieri and Councilman Garrett Keating said there would be a future public discussion on the use of these funds.  Barbieri emphasized that no decisions on Measure WW funds had been made and, further, that the Council had not yet voted on installing artificial turf at Coaches Playfield.

A second question was raised regarding the previously allocated CIP funds totaling $220,000 for Blair Park.  The City Administrator and Finance Director Mark Bichsel responded that a $50,000 fund to improve Blair Park had been created in 2006 at the behest of Moraga Avenue residents. It had been “augmented” since 2006 with a total of $220,000 in City funds, along with another $261,000 contributed by private parties.  The City Administrator stated the funds have been used to study Coaches Playfield lights and turf, as well as to pay CEQA legal fees for the proposed Moraga Canyon Blair Park sports complex.  A total of  $481,000 has already been spent toward the proposed development and improvement of playfields in Moraga Canyon.  As the development has yet to be approved, none of the  money was spent on construction.

The City Council is scheduled to adopt the FY 11-12 Budget on June 20 at which time they will vote on the City’s Capital Improvement Projects.

Coaches Playfield on Moraga Avenue looking west. This is the location of proposed artificial turf and lights. Donor monument is in foreground.

Eastern end of Coaches Playfield showing retaining wall next to Corporation Yard. Artificial turf would replace natural grass in the baseball outfield, which is utilized by a variety of sports.

Sign at entrance to Coaches Playfield at Red Rock Road and Moraga Avenue.


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