Ask Parks and Rec to Move the Bob Jones Trail Forward
This Thursday, March 23, 2017, the SLO County Parks and Recreation Commission will consider “strategy for funding the Bob Jones Pathway Construction Documents and Right-of-Way consulting services” for the trail’s 4.4-mile extension from the Octagon Barn to the Ontario Road staging area.
At stake is grant funding for a Request for Proposals (RFP) for consulting services to prepare construction and right-of-way documents for the trail’s long anticipated extension. This work is needed to move the project to “shovel-ready” status and thus eligible for grant funding. Bike SLO County and other groups that support completion of the Bob Jones Trail disagree with the County Parks and Recreation Department staff recommendation to delay bringing any funding requests to the Board of Supervisors.
We take issue with any further delay for this project of regional significance for locals and visitors. The Bob Jones Trail extension is in the final stages of environmental study and review and needs to move forward. While the $775,000 in grant funding earmarked for the RFP are insufficient to cover its estimated $1.1 million cost, the Board of Supervisors can choose to cover the estimated $380,000 shortfall now with Parks Public Facilities Fees or funds from other sources. The important issue is for the SLO County Parks and Recreation Commission to recommend bringing the RFP funding request to the Board of Supervisors. Failure to move forward endangers work already completed and paid for, adding additional cost and time to a project already years behind schedule.
The Bob Jones Trail extension has been promised for decades. Other pieces of the trail network, including the Octagon Barn and Bob Jones trailhead, are in the works.
The Parks and Recreation Commission meeting starts at 6 p.m. in the Board of Supervisors’ chambers in the county Government Center, 1055 Monterey St., SLO. Bob Jones Trail is item 9 on the agenda.
What can I do?
- Attend the meeting and ask the Parks and Recreation Commission to recommend bringing the RFP funding request to the Board of Supervisors.
- Email the Parks and Recreation Commissioners and let them know that you want the Bob Jones Trail to move forward now. Email addresses for the Commissioners:
Whether you attend the meeting, email the Commissioners or both, here is some language that might help:
Dear Commission Chair and Members:
Please recommend that the Board of Supervisors allocate Parks Public Facility Fees or other funds to cover the estimated shortfall for the Request for Proposals to provide consulting services for construction and right-of-way documents for the Bob Jones Trail 4.4-mile extension.
This work is needed to move the extension project to “shovel-ready” status and thus eligible for grant funding. The county must fulfill its commitment to complete this stretch of the City to the Sea Trail. Further delays could cause work that has already been completed to expire, adding additional cost and time to a project already years behind schedule.
WHEN: Thursday, March 23, 2017 6 PM
WHERE: SLO County Government Center, 1055 Monterey St., SLO (map)
WHAT: SLO County Parks and Recreation Commission meeting to consider “strategy for funding the Bob Jones Pathway Construction Documents and Right-of-Way consulting services”.