By Paul Myers
tulare county – Tulare County’s Board of Supervisors took up two items last week, both dealt with investments to their parks. As a result, both Mooney Grove Park and Ledbetter Park near Cutler/Orosi, will see marked improvements to their recreational facilities.
For Mooney Grove, visitors can look forward to a new toddler playground. The playground aligns itself with the First 5 Tulare County 2015-2018 Strategic Plan by allowing for increased access for active recreational opportunities, according to a Resource Management Agency (RMA) report.
The project covered up to 80% of the full cost from First 5 of Tulare County, and requires a $15,000 match by the County. Eric Coin, deputy administrative officer for Tulare County, who spoke at the Tuesday, Jan. 31 board meeting, noted that if RMA can find savings in the project they will take advantage of them bringing the County’s obligation down.
For Ledbetter Park the Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to approve an update for the design and construction funded through a Housing Related Parks Program grant.
“We are making infrastructural investments in these parks that are long, long, long overdue,” stated Supervisor Steve Worthley.
The County was awarded $414,950 in late December and has chosen to spend the funds on electrical upgrades, upgrades to the domestic water system, ADA improvements, arbor renovations and playground equipment.
“These improvement projects were selected by local residents through community outreach and based on the need to address Ledbetter Park’s failing infrastructure,” stated an RMA report presented to the Board.
The State of California, Department of Housing and Community Development issued the notice of funds available for Housing Related Parks Program grant on Oct. 26,2015. The program is designed to encourage cities and counties to develop new residential housing by rewarding those jurisdictions that approve housing for lower-income households and are in compliance with State Housing Element Law.
“The [RMA] and County Parks Department have placed a high priority on improving infrastructure projects that serve disadvantaged communities. Therefore, the Ledbetter Park improvements project is on a fast track projected timeline,” stated in the same RMA report.
Completion of the construction is projected for April 2018.