The $3 million grant will be provided through the Regional Park Program, which funds non-motorized infrastructure and enhancements that create, expand and improve regional parks and their facilities, according to the staff report.
If Placer County receives the grant, the funding would be used to connect the current Hidden Falls Park to the expansion area, according to Parks Administrator Andy Fisher.
According to the staff report, the funding will be utilized for three miles of connecting trail, two bridges over Raccoon Creek and a box culvert. One bridge will provide access for pedestrians, equestrians, bicyclists and lightweight vehicles like quads utilized by County Parks, ranger staff and Placer Land Trust staff. The second bridge will provide access for emergency medical response personnel and light duty trucks used by County Parks, ranger staff and Placer Land Trust staff.
The staff report notes the cost of this phase of the Hidden Falls expansion project is $4.7 million, and will utilize $960,000 from the General Fund and $740,475 in Park Dedication Fees to cover the remaining $1.7 million balance.
District 3 Supervisor Jim Holmes pulled the item from the consent agenda to confirm the application details and inquired if funds have already been taken from the General Fund and put toward the project. Fisher confirmed the $960,000 has not been earmarked yet, as the grant is competitive and it is not known if Placer will receive the funds at this time.
Holmes also noted the board has received concerns from park neighbors regarding increased wildfire risk and illegal parking and trespassing in the Lone Star Cemetery area and requested staff provide answers to residents’ questions and concerns. Fisher said county staff has held five meetings since the project’s approval to receive park neighbors’ comments, and confirmed they will continue working with the community and finalizing a draft plan for fuels management and emergency access.
“We do have a draft plan for both fuels management and for emergency access, and that will be formalized with involvement from the community - with CAL FIRE input, with registered foresters input - and that plan will be finalized before we open up and they’ll be able to see that as it progresses,” Fisher said.
Fisher said if the county receives the grant, it is anticipated funds will be distributed early in the next fiscal year, which will begin July 1, 2022, and construction would be anticipated in 2023 or 2024.
-by Stacey Adams
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