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Sunday, January 11, 2009

2.7 Million Dollar Grant Available for San Ramon

With ballot "Measure WW" having being approved on Nov 4, 2008 by over two thirds of the voters in Contra Costa and Almeda County, it will provide funding to protect open space and create additional regional parks and trails for recreation. The bond measure was not a new tax, but an extension of a previous parcel tax for homeowners in Alameda and Contra Costa counties.

A quick breakdown of what the funds are for.

• $500 million bond extension was approved by two-thirds of voters in Alameda and Contra Costa counties.

• This extension does not increase the tax rate above the present maximum rate of $10 per year per $100,000 of assessed valuation (i.e. a home assessed at $400,000 will pay $40 per year).

• $375 million (75%) of revenue will fund Regional Park acquisitions and capital projects, with $26.2 million (7%) of that amount held in reserve for unanticipated future needs and opportunities.

• $125 million (25%) of proceeds will go to cities, special park and recreation districts, county service areas, and the Oakland Zoo for much-needed local park and recreation projects. Livermore area voters are not part of this extension tax as Murray Township was not within the East Bay Regional Park District’s jurisdiction in 1988 when the initial bond measure was passed. EBRPD continues to serve this community through new acquisitions of parklands.

• The Park Advisory Committee will provide citizens’ oversight to monitor all bond expenditures.

In addition to the general funds that are being used by East Bay Parks for projects throughout Contra Costa and Alameda counties, San Ramon is also entitled to a local grant of approximately 2.7 million dollars directly, with no matching funds required by San Ramon for either new park acquisitions, park land improvements, and even capital improvement projects.

Eligible Grant Projects

Capital Projects that will provide lands and facilities for recreational activities and services an historic preservation are eligible. Projects must be consistent with the Grantee’s park an recreation element of the general plan or appropriate parks and recreation planning document Public art projects are eligible as long as they are in or adjacent to a parks and recreation facility. The following types of Capital Projects are eligible for grant funding:

  • Acquisition (fee title or permanent easement for public access projects)
    • For land acquisition project applicants must submit a copy of the land agreement and appraisal if applicable for District approval prior to acquisition.

  • Development (including renovation of recreational facilities)
The following types of projects are ineligible for grant funding:
  • Libraries
  • Street and highway beautification
  • Master Plans
  • Public art not associated with a parks & recreation facility
  • Maintenance Equipment Purchase (trucks, mowers, tractors, etc.)
  • Non-fixed equipment (removable soccer goals, portable air conditioners, etc.)
  • Recreational programming and staffing
  • Normal maintenance and repairs expected to last less than 25 years. (The District shall make the final determination regarding expected project life.)

Below is a list showing grant eligibility for other cities and unincorporated areas in Contra Costa County and Alameda County based on population and allocation numbers.

Measure WW Park Land Grants

Let's hope our San Ramon City uses this money wisely. Here's an idea. How about including the San Ramon citizens in on deciding how the money should be used. By-the-way, the funds do not need to be used on one project only. Source: East Bay Parks Measure WW

Be sure to send in your articles today to the San Ramon Tribune.

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