City gets $200K parks grant

City gets  $200K  parks grantBy LAURA LEIGH MONTEREY

News Review Correspondent

The Ridgecrest City Council discussed, at its regular meeting Wednesday night, the awarding of a $200,000 grant from the California State Department of Parks and Recreation.

Jason Patin, director of the city’s Parks and Recreation Department, briefed members of the council and the public on possible uses of the money.

According to Patin, the grant is earmarked for park rehabilitation, creation and expansion, but can be used only on parks in severely disadvantaged areas if the grantee seeks matching funds. Patin suggested that the city forego the matching funds in order to use the grant money to improve LeRoy Jackson Park and Freedom Park.

Possible projects included parking lot repaving, additional restrooms, LED lighting to replace expensive halogen lighting, additional soccer and football fields and tennis court rehabilitation.

Mayor Pro Tem Lindsey Stephens posed questions about why the soccer fields are up for rehabilitation and expansion, but the softball fields are not. She noted that “We can’t get tournaments to come here because our fields are in such bad shape.”

Patin replied that the soccer and football fields receive most of the use. He also said that the soccer field addition was a maintenance measure, not expansion. The goal of the additional field is to relieve the impact of constant play on a small number of fields, he said.

Proposals will be discussed in the next Quality of Life committee meeting. The committee meets the first Tuesday of every month at 5 p.m. in the Kerr McGee Center meeting room. The next meeting will be held Nov. 5.

Projects will return to the city council for final approval. Future agendas will be posted at http://ridgecrest-ca.gov/212/City-Council.

Pictured: City Parks and Recreation Director Jason Patin. — Photo by Laura Austin

Story First Published: 2019-10-04