Pool grant discussion continues on Nov. 2

Pool grant discussion continues on Nov. 2By BRIAN COSNER, News Review Staff Writer

The city’s Parks, Recreation & Quality of Life Committee meets Monday, Nov. 2, to continue discussing the Statewide Park Development and Community Revitalization Program Grant – the funding opportunity for a new community pool.

Meetings are held at City Hall and are now open to the public, so long as participants adhere to physical-distancing guidelines. Virtual participation is also encouraged (see agenda for Webx and call-in info ridgecrest-ca.gov/AgendaCenter/Quality-of-Life-Committee-10).

The city has held several meetings on this topic, with more planned, in order to meet community-engagement metrics required by the grant. The maximum award of the grant is $8.5 million and the city must submit an application by Dec. 15.

With the deadline looming, many were confused why the Ridgecrest City Council removed an item to approve the application from its Oct. 21 agenda.

Mayor Peggy Breeden said staff asked to pull the item as they were still waiting for more concrete costs for the project.

“It’s important to make sure that we can make that commitment in good faith,” said Mayor Pro Tem Lindsey Stephens.

Some criticized the council’s decision, and even went so far as to allege it was being postponed until after the election for political reasons. Others thanked the city for waiting until it had a clearer financial picture for the project.

Councilmember Scott Hayman reported that the grant process was still on track and staff reassured the public that the item would come back to council in November.

Meanwhile, the Nov. 2 committee meting is from 5:30-6:30 p.m. in the City Hall council chambers. According to the agenda, the primary topic of discussion will be the pool’s location. For city agendas and more information visit ridgecrest-ca.gov/agendacenter.

Story First Published: 2020-10-30