County reaps money for parks |

County reaps money for parks

Even though Nevada County voters two years ago rejected a ballot measure aimed at generating money for more parks and cleaner water throughout the state, they will nonetheless reap the benefits.

On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors is expected to adopt a resolution that will secure $1.2 million from the $2.6 billion California State 2002 Resources Bond Act. The bond was approved in the March 2002 election by 57 percent of the voters in the state. Nevada County voters, however, rejected the measure, with 57.4 percent voting against and 42.6 percent in favor.

Mark Tomich, Nevada County planning director, said that following the election, in December 2002 and February 2003, supervisors voted to allocate the county’s $1.2 million share of the bond proceeds to the City of Nevada City, $480,000; the Nevada County Land Trust, $240,000; and $120,000 each to the City of Grass Valley, the Bear River Recreation and Park District, the Western Gateway Recreation and Park District and the Truckee-Donner Land Trust.

“Since (the county) doesn’t directly own and run recreational facilities, other than a small ballpark, the board decided to pass the funds on,” Tomich said.

Nevada City Mayor Kerry Arnett said the city will use the $480,000 to purchase Hirschman’s Pond and Diggins, a 33-acre parcel that was a former hydraulic mining site on the edge of Nevada City off Highway 49. While there has been discussion by the Nevada City City Council to turn the property into a park, Arnett said the topography will dictate what future recreational uses will be.

“There are no concrete plans at this time other than to acquire it,” Arnett said. “You have to keep in mind that Nevada City has meager budgets. Everything is in stages and the first is acquisition.”

Tomich said the Nevada County Land Trust’s $240,000 share will go toward the trust’s efforts at the North Star Mine property. That is the property where the Julia Morgan house is located.

Grass Valley will use its $120,000 for capital improvements at city parks. The Bear River and Gateway recreation and park districts will also use their shares for capital improvements. The Truckee-Donner Land Trust will use its share for Truckee River corridor restoration, Tomich said.

In addition to the county’s share of the funding, Grass Valley, Nevada City, Truckee and the county’s three park and recreation districts each received $220,000 from the state for a total of $1.32 million.

The California State 2002 Resources Bond Act generated $2.6 billion through the sale of general obligation bonds. The proceeds have gone toward the development, restoration and acquisition of state and local parks, recreation areas and historical resources; and for land, air, and water conservation programs.

According to the county Planning Department’s staff report, land purchased with the bond funds must be acquired from a willing seller. Tomich said the funds should be available to the different entities by summer.

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