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February 12, 2013
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Nevada County to fund recreation projects


The Nevada County Board of Supervisors is expected to approve a dispersal of about $250,000 to various recreation projects throughout western Nevada County.

Brian Foss, planning director for Nevada County, recommended the board accept four different projects — improvements to Pioneer Park ($75,551); creation of the Collaborative Technology Center ($130,000); Dogs Run Free facility expansion ($2,630) and Oak Tree Community Park Pavilion ($45,900).

The county derives its money from fees that are paid into a specific fund by those undergoing new construction of residential structures, Foss said.

The largest amount of funds will be utilized to complete a comprehensive technology upgrade to the Madelyn Helling Library, the staff report states. The full scope of the project incudes the creation of a separate yet accessible area of the library capable of housing computer stations, three-dimensional printing machines and filmmaking equipment.

The project will leverage an extensive fiber optic infrastructure project currently taking place in Nevada County to provide “an ultra-high-speed 1GB Internet broadband connection,” the staff report states.

Nevada City plans to leverage $75,000 to provide Americans with Disabilities Act-mandated access to the existing playground facilities at Pioneer Park. The project will replace the sand-based surface with materials more compliant with wheelchair access.

The city council had hoped to procure $166,000 to install drainage facilities at the ball field to solve persistent flooding problems at the location but was told by county staff there was not enough demonstrable evidence the proposal would actually improve the field’s condition.

The Dogs Run Free facility in Grass Valley’s Condon Park is slated to receive about $2,600 to install permanent water and drainage facilities for the popular “dog pool” feature, the staff report states. The project is expected to expand the use of the facility during hot summer months.

Finally, the proposal’s approval will dedicate about $46,000 to constructing a 32-by-32-foot pavilion on a concrete slab at Oak Tree Community Park, the staff report states. The project includes the installation of three picnic areas with tables, barbecues, concrete pads, pathways, water and power utilities and the planting of trees for shade.

The park is a special recreation district encompassing approximately 20 square miles on the San Juan Ridge and was created in 2010.

Not recommended

for approval

County staff does not recommend the county award $166,000 of the mitigation fees requested by Nevada City to build a complicated drainage system for an oft-soggy baseball field in Pioneer Park.

In a report to the Nevada City Council at its Jan. 23 meeting, Nevada City parks director Dawn Zydonis indicated the county was not convinced the project — the first phase of which is expected to cost almost $50,000 — would actually improve the field’s condition.

While the commissions could reject the recommendation and fund the project anyway, Zydonis said she is not optimistic of that prospect.

Instead, the Nevada City Council directed staff to pursue an engineering analysis using mitigation fees already secured.

However, county staff has recommended more than $75,000 be allocated to bring a playground at the park up to Americans with Disabilities Act standards.

The playground, the main components of which were built in mid 1990s, has sand beneath it. Nevada City proposes to replace with 390 cubic yards of soft foam-like materials and 500 cubic yards of wood fiber surfacing.

“We’re not changing anything big, just primarily the surfacing,” Zydonis said.

The city also proposes the installation of a transfer stations, which would help people access elevated play structures without the use of a wheelchair or mobility device, according to Nevada City’s request for funding. This transfer station includes a transfer platform, transfer steps and supports.

The project also calls for relocating miniature backhoe-like shoveling equipment that is only functional with sand to a portion of the playground that will maintain sand surface.

“Just knowing that it is making that play area more accessible, I am very excited about that,” Zydonis said.

Other projects that submitted requests for money but are not being recommended include a request for enhancements to Independence Trail.

Nevada City planned to use $10,000 to rehabilitate the trail, make it safe for disabled persons to access and to create new and update existing signs.

The use of $20,000 to create a “sprayground” at Mautino Park Sprayground Project was also not recommended by county staff. A sprayground is a playground with water features popular with users during the hot summer months and commonly includes a concrete pad, drainage system and water spray features.

Another proposal attempted to garner $12,000 for the expansion of the lighting and sound system at the Grass Valley Veterans Memorial Building for musical and dramatic performances. The building contains the largest occupancy auditorium in western Nevada County.

Finally, the North Star House applied for $20,000 to construct a restroom at the Julia Morgan-designed building.

To contact Staff Writer Matthew Renda email mrenda@theunion.com or call 530-477-4239.


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The Union Updated Feb 12, 2013 03:34AM Published Feb 13, 2013 10:59AM Copyright 2013 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.