The Press

Huntington Park accepts funds for proposed greenway on DWP land

HUNTINGTON PARK — The City Council April 18 authorized interim City Manager Ricardo Reyes to execute a grant agreement with California Natural Resources Agency to accept funding for the Greenway Linear Park in the amount of $4.7 million.

The vote was 5-0.

Planned is a half-mile linear greenway which will utilize the 10 Los Angeles Department of Water and Power lots located just south of Salt Lake Park between Florence Avenue and Santa Ana Street, said Parks and Recreation Director Cynthia Norzagaray.

“We will work with community members to plan the park,” Councilwoman Graciela Ortiz said. “Construction should start late this year or in early 2019 and in 2020 we will have a beautiful park in our community.”

She spoke at a press conference prior to the council meeting conducted by Communities for a Better Environment, a private group promoting environmental projects.

Speakers from the group supported the park, as did a couple dozen members of Youths for Environmental Justice, who displayed signs of approval.

Support is also expected from another private environment group, the Tree People, Ortiz said.

She noted that the $4.7 million grant falls short of the estimated $6 million cost, but said the city is looking for additional funding.

The council also:

  • Approved an agreement with a group called “From Lot to Spot” for an amount not to exceed $50,000 for community outreach and engagement and for playground planning for the Greenway Linear Park;
  • Authorized a firm called Infrastructure Engineers to proceed with design, bid advertisement and bid analysis for a negotiated fee not to exceed 7 percent of the project construction budget plus $70,000 for geotechnical and topographical surveys.

“This project will increase parkland in the community by 19 percent, will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide multiple benefits to the community at large through the new trails, pedestrian pathways, play areas and recreational elements,” Norzagaray said in a written report to the council.

“This grant agreement with the California Natural Resources Agency should be complete by April 30 and thereafter allow for the encumbrance of funds for Huntington Park and for work on the project to begin. All funding is set to exhaust in May 2020,” Public Works Director Daniel Hernandez said.

The Lot To Spot group in February presented the council with plans for conducting and incorporating extensive community input via community workshops, sidewalk engagements and focus groups, Hernandez said.

“Due to their involvement with the original application submitted, CNRA has expressed the importance of that continued involvement to bring the conceptual design to life,” he added.

Infrastructure Engineers is currently contracted with the city, Hernandez said in the report. He recommended that the city award the design and corresponding geotechnical and topographical surveys to that firm, “as they are already very familiar with the project scope and will keep the project on schedule,” Hernandez added.

Because of the limited time period, Hernandez recommended against going out for bids, saying that would delay the project completion about three months and push the city beyond the May 2020 grant period.

Concerning the $1.3 million funding shortage, some modifications to the original concept may be required, he said.

Funding for the Huntington Park Greenway Linear Park Project will be budgeted for in the city’s fiscal year 2018-19 and 2019-20 budgets.