A 5-0 San Diego County Board of Supervisors vote April 15 approved the annual update of the county’s Capital Improvement Needs Assessment Program.
The updated needs assessment retains land acquisition for the San Luis Rey River Park as an item requiring funding over the next five years and also retains the acquisition of land for the Multiple Species Conservation Program (MSCP) and the replacement of the Regional Communication System (RCS) network. New projects to the list include Don Dussault Park improvements.
“Each year the Department of General Services takes a close look at the county’s buildings, facilities, maintenance, and improvements and then projects the county’s needs for the next five years. The report helps shape the county budget,” said Supervisor Bill Horn.
The 2014-19 needs assessment covers facilities projects slated for capital improvement between 2014 and 2019 but does not include funding for those projects. The supervisors’ vote, however, also referred the program to the county’s chief administrative officer to determine timing and funding mechanisms to implement the individual projects.
The plan includes approximately $633.3 million in partially funded and unfunded priority projects. Because the capital planning process which includes the Capital Improvement Needs Assessment Program focuses on facilities, road projects are not included on the capital improvements list. A Facilities Planning Board prioritizes projects based on criteria including benefits and linkage to the county’s strategic plan.
The partially funded and unfunded projects on the list consist of projects estimated to exceed $10 million, which were ranked by the Facilities Planning Board, and projects estimated to cost under $10 million, which were listed but not ranked. Additional projects which have been identified but require further analysis to define their scope will be brought to the Board of Supervisors for inclusion on a future Capital Improvement Needs Assessment Program list.
The replacement of the RCS ranks first among the six partially funded and unfunded major (over $10 million) projects. The project to design, procure, and install the next-generation system has an estimated cost of $105,000,000, and $18,982,388 of that has currently been funded. County staff members worked with more than 100 public safety agencies and medical operations who use the current system as part of the effort to develop the requirements for the new system. The county approved a memorandum of understanding with its regional partners which includes a cost-sharing arrangement. A Request for Proposals is expected to be issued this summer.
The MSCP land acquisition now ranks second among the six major projects. The county has already purchased more than 18,000 acres for the MSCP and anticipates the acquisition of up to an additional 17,800 acres. The estimated cost to acquire the remaining amount is $293.9 million, and $158.4 million of that has been funded.
The future San Luis Rey River Park will include open space areas including trails, staging areas, and habitat preservation corridors. Since those open space areas are for the most part within the draft MSCP boundaries, the MSCP funding will be available to purchase open space land within the river park. The river park plans also include active recreation fields such as ball fields, play areas, and picnic facilities, although that land would not be eligible for MSCP funding.
The Capital Improvement Needs Assessment Program only addresses land acquisition for the river park, which ranks fifth among the six major priorities. Since the boundaries of the river park are yet to be determined and land will be obtained only from willing sellers, the total acquisition cost estimate may require adjustment. The San Luis Rey River Park will cover approximately 1,600 acres, and the linear park will stretch for approximately nine miles.
In July 2005, the county supervisors appropriated $5 million to purchase land for the river park, and the county’s 2006-07 budget provided an additional $3 million. More than 500 acres have already been purchased, and approximately 850 acres will be acquired as part of the California Department of Transportation mitigation requirements for the widening of State Route 76.
The acquisition of an additional 250 acres, including 40 to 60 acres for two active recreation sites, has an estimated cost of $16.1 million, including $10.2 million which has been funded. The development of the river park itself has an estimated cost of $50 million.
Don Dussault Park is a 3/4-acre recreational facility off of Alturas Road near the intersection of Aviation Road. The master plan for the park has a current cost estimate of about $850,000 for all of the planned improvements, and $330,000 of that has been funded including $250,000 which is budgeted for a construction contract expected to be awarded later this spring.