The San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted 5-0 June 18 to appropriate $379,245 of District Five Neighborhood Reinvestment Program funds including $95,000 for Clemmens Lane Park, the Via Rio House, and the Fallbrook Alumni Association.
The $75,000 for Clemmens Lane Park will pay for a shade structure over the existing tot lot and junior playground areas. The $15,000 allocated to TERI (Training, Education, Research and Innovation) will allow for the drilling of a well and the installation of a pump and tank at the Via Rio House at 1262 Via Encinos Drive. The $5,000 to the Fallbrook Alumni Association will be used to purchase a plaque for the gym honoring former basketball coach Jack Sandschulte and to purchase backpacks and school supplies for underprivileged students at Fallbrook High School. The county supervisors’ action also approved findings that the Clemmens Lane Park shade structure and the TERI well system are categorically exempt from California Environmental Quality Act review.
The Neighborhood Reinvestment Program is intended to provide grants to non-profit organizations for the furtherance of public purposes at the regional and community levels. In addition to non-profit organizations, county supervisors can also fund schools and fire departments, and supervisors can also use money from their budgets to supplement other county funding for specific county projects such as parks, roads, and libraries. Each county supervisor recommends the allocation of his or her Neighborhood Reinvestment Program funds, although those allocations must be approved by a majority of the board. The grants to the Fallbrook organizations were from the District Five budget of Supervisor Bill Horn.
“We’re grateful that Supervisor Horn has given us the funding that will provide us the opportunity to add the shade structure over the tot lot and playground area and further improve Clemmens Lane Park for all of the residents,” said Renee Hilton, the assistant director of the county’s Department of Parks and Recreation.
Clemmens Lane Park opened in 2009. The half-acre park includes a picnic plaza, barbecues, a synthetic turf soccer field, and a sand volleyball court in addition to the playgrounds. “It’s a really nice park,” Hilton said.
“It’s a small park, but it’s really needed in that particular neighborhood,” Hilton said. “It’s very well visited.”
The supervisors’ action not only appropriated the Neighborhood Reinvestment Program funds but also established that $75,000 will go into the county’s capital outlay fund for the Clemmens Lane Park project.
“This will allow people to enjoy it even more now that they will have some additional shade,” Hilton said.
“A little shade will be a welcome relief over the playground areas for both children and their parents. It may even encourage more families to get out and enjoy a day outdoors at Clemmens Lane Park,” Horn said.
TERI was founded in 1980 and serves individuals with autism and other developmental or learning disabilities. Via Rio House is one of the 11 residential homes TERI operates. What was once a landscaped yard is being converted into half an acre of crops and orchards, but the property does not have a working well.
“Building a well system on the Via Rio House property is a great investment. It will support the half-acre of crops and orchards at a low cost and offer residents therapy through horticulture,” Horn said.
The activities of the Fallbrook Alumni Association include the Backpack Buddy program which raises money to purchase backpacks and fill them with school supplies to give to underprivileged students. The school supplies will include three-ring binders, subject dividers, pencil pockets, paper, pencils, pens, erasers, and protractors.
“The Backpack Buddy program is a great way to help underprivileged students get excited about going back to school. They can concentrate on learning and not worry about how to manage without basic school supplies,” Horn said.
The grant to the Fallbrook Alumni Association will also enable the purchase of a plaque which will be placed at the Fallbrook High School gym to honor Sandschulte. “It’s a good honor,” said Tom Pack, who was Fallbrook High School’s athletic director during Sandschulte’s final 11 years coaching Fallbrook basketball and was also the Warriors’ freshman basketball coach in 1971-72.
“He deserves that honor,” Pack said. “Jack was just an outstanding person and a competitive guy.”
Sandschulte had coached at Cathedral High School in Los Angeles before becoming Fallbrook’s basketball coach in 1956. When he retired in 1984 he was the county’s all-time winningest high school basketball coach. “He knew how to work with kids and got the most out of the kids and did that year in and year out,” Pack said. “Fallbrook was known in those days for the basketball program Jack had.”
Sandschulte’s teams reached the CIF San Diego Section finals in 1962 and 1982 and won multiple Avocado League championships. When he was not coaching basketball he was a world history teacher, the school’s junior class counselor, and the work experience program director. Sandschulte retired from teaching in 1986 and continued to live in Fallbrook until his death on Oct. 15, 2011, at the age of 82. In 2004 Sandschulte was inducted as a San Diego County High School Coaching Legend.
“He was just a great guy,” Pack said.
The Neighborhood Reinvestment Program allocations also reallocated $4,788 of unspent funds from a grant to the Fallbrook Village Association. In February 2012, the Fallbrook Village Association was allocated $30,000 to cover the cost of a detailed survey of Downtown Fallbrook property owners to determine whether support existed for a benefit assessment district. The completion of that project with funds remaining allowed for the balance to be reallocated to other Neighborhood Reinvestment Program projects.