Lions Park Projects On Tap Tuesday (Amended)
A REALLY BIG MEETING TUESDAY
Tuesday March 28, 2017, is an important date for all Costa Mesans because there will be a Special Joint Meeting of the City Council, Planning Commission and the Parks and Recreation Commission to discuss the plans for what is being referred to as the Lions Park Projects. These projects include:
- Improvements to Lions Park and new signage, including building signs and directional/wayfinding signs.
- The demolition of the existing Neighborhood Community Center. Building a new two-story building of approximately the same square footage on the same site to house a brand new, modern library.
- The renovation and re-purposing of the current round Donald Dungan Branch Library adjacent to the new library as the new Community Center.
- The creation of a new one acre park area on part of the site of the current community center.
- The construction of a Cafe - Cafe Mesa - on the grounds between the new buildings.
The agenda report for this meeting can be found HERE and the staff report, with attachments, can be found HERE.
TO BE HELD AT THE COSTA MESA COUNTRY CLUB
This Special Joint Meeting will begin at 6:00 p.m. in the Los Lagos Room of the Costa Mesa Country Club, 1701 Gold Course Drive. See the map below.
Following discussions and presentations the staff recommends the following:
Parks and Recreation Commission
1 - Approve the Lions Park Projects Master Plan as proposed
1 - Adopt the Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration; and
2 - Adopt a resolution to approve Planning Application PA-16-71 for the Lions Park Projects
Master Plan, subject to conditions of approval and mitigation measures.
1 - Adopt plans, specifications, and working details for the Lions Park Projects Master Plan,
City Project No. 17-03; and
2 - Authorize staff to advertise the Lions Park Projects for construction.
SITE AND BUILDING PLANS
Attachment #6, HERE, will give you all the proposed visuals in this project, including images of new buildings and site plans.
FUNDING INFORMATION (Amended - See Mayor Foley, below)
In my view, the most important information is contained in Attachment #5, HERE. This outlines the funding plan for this project and the rebuilding of Fire Station #1 on Adams Avenue at Royal Palm, which is already underway. When you review this single page document you will find that these two projects will obligate the taxpayers of our city for more than $46 million, with the debt stretching out twenty-five (25) years. We will pay $12.3 million in interest on a $18.5 million loan to the tune of nearly $103,000 per month.
I suspect more than a few of your neighbors will join me at this meeting, to hear the latest presentation by the consultants from Johnson Favaro and the staff, and to hear about this very costly project. Public Comments will be permitted, but only on this subject. Please join me, since this will not be televised live.
MAYOR FOLEY OFFERS CLARITY ON FUNDING
Mayor Katrina Foley saw this entry and posted a long explanation on my Facebook page. For those who have not seen it, I have copied and pasted it here verbatim. This clarifies the funding issue.
Geoff West just one correction-- it's not "additional debt." We currently have bond financing related to the Civic Center & Victoria Street improvements & police facility bond refinancing & early pay off. We are simply replacing the beneficiary project of the existing debt obligation. This financing plan will not increase our debt, but stays within the same payment ranges. It's in the staff report: "On January 17, 2017, the City Council approved an agreement with Fieldman-Rolapp & Associates to help develop the debt financing strategy and implement the plan. The financing strategy is under way and includes the goals of keeping the City’s annual debt service payments at or below the current levels, meeting the cash flow needs of the construction contract payment schedule, possible early payoff of the 2003 COP (related to the Civic Center and Victoria Street right-of-way property) and possibly refinancing the 2007 COP (related to the past expansion of the police facility) for additional general fund savings. Staff will return to Council as soon financing options are ready for consideration and selection."
Additionally, we are aggressively seeking grant funding from statewide library & park fund grants. We hope to have those opportunities online by year end to reduce the costs. There is no increase in obligation to the taxpayers and significant improvement to the community, especially the Westside community. The increase in value to properties in the surrounding area and overall quality of life for families in the community far outweighs the cost to build. I refer you to the Costa Mesa High School Performing Arts Center project. It helped transform the school and community, as well as improve the corner of Arlington & Fairview. It cost more than $20 million in 2012-13. We are getting more than double the size and amenities for only $16 million more. We must invest in our community to sustain it as a quality place for families to live, work and play. Investments on the westside are long overdue. I hope you will see the value of this investment after the presentation.