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Advocacy Alert

Advocacy Alert: Bob Jones Trail Extension

Stand up for the Bob Jones Trail

Write your Supervisors & show up!

On Tuesday, May 9th the Board of Supervisors will meet to decide whether to move the Bob Jones Trail Extension project forward, or not.  At least four Supervisors need to vote in favor for the project to move ahead. Bob Jones TrailWhile the San Luis Obispo County Parks & Rec Department has found most of the funds needed to move the Bob Jones Trail forward, it is up to the county Board of Supervisors to approve the use of the money. 

If the Supervisors approve the funding, it will put SLO County in a strong position for additional funds and we could see actual construction of the Bob Jones Trail extension in the next 18 to 24 months.

Please help to move this project forward by doing the following three things:

  • Email or call your Supervisor expressing your support for the additional funding needed to move the Bob Jones Trail project forward. 
  • Show up at 9 am for the May 9th hearing to express your support for this project. We will need a large turnout for the Board of Supervisors so that the minimum four votes are obtained. The Bob Jones Trail item is currently on the consent agenda. If it stays on the consent agenda, there will be no public commentary. This is a great opportunity for signs reading “Support the Bob Jones Trail” “I <3 the Bob Jones Trail” etc. If the item is taken off of the consent agenda for discussion, public comment is encouraged. As always, be polite and respectful. 
  • Forward this request to your friends and family, especially in Arroyo Grande, Nipomo and North County.

Key points to express are:

  • Support the remaining BJT funding necessary to issue the RFP, allowing the project to move forward and become shovel-ready. 
  • SLO County will be applying for a portion of the 200+ million dollars available through ATP grants in early 2018. Having the project shovel-ready will enhance our chances of receiving $10 million in state funds for construction of the BJT extension. 
  • We have already lost significant grant money for this project due to delays, and are at risking of losing an additional $250,000 grant if progress is not made soon. 
  • Funding for this RFP will not impact the County’s progress on the Nipomo Parks projects that are in the works.  

Below is the contact information for the Board of Supervisors.

District 1: John Peschong, jpeschong@co.slo.ca.us
District 2: Bruce Gibson, bgibson@co.slo.ca.us
District 3: Adam Hill, ahill@co.slo.ca.us
District 4: Lynn Compton, lcompton@co.slo.ca.us
District 5: Debbie Arnolddarnold@co.slo.ca.us

Advocacy Alert

Finish the Bob Jones Trail Extension

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:

Pandora Nash-Karner
pandora@pandoraandcompany.com

Bruce Hilton
bruce.hilton@post.harvard.edu

Connie O’Henley
connie@clarkcenter.org

Kenny Dahlen
kennydahlen@gmail.com

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.

Sincerely,

(Your Name)

Additional Info:

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”.

Agenda: http://agenda.slocounty.ca.gov/agenda/sanluisobispo/822/QWdlbmRh/6/n/75506.doc

Staff Report: http://agenda.slocounty.ca.gov/agenda/sanluisobispo/7205/SXRlbSBEb2N1bWVudCAoUHVibGljKSA=/14/n/75504.doc

Advocacy Alert

Let The Supervisors Know You Support The Bob Jones Trail

The next phase of the Bob Jones Trail, the section between South Higuera and Ontario Road, is ready to proceed. Unfortunately the project is stalled and in order to continue making progress the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors need to hear that people want this project completed. Please read on and then email TODAY or attend and speak at the Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday March 7th.

Why Does this Matter?

Though a Request for Proposal (RFP) for this portion of the Bob Jones Trail has been completed and approved by Caltrans, the County has not put it out for bids. Once put out for bids and contracted, the RFP would complete the Plans, Specs and Engineering (PSE) and Right of Way (ROW) necessary for the South Higuera to Ontario Road section of the trail to become “shovel ready”.

Why does this matter?

  • Delaying the project causes the price of the project to go up. Construction prices will continue to rise. The longer we wait, the higher the price tag.
  • A long delay may necessitate that a supplemental EIR be prepared, adding additional time and money to the completion of the Bob Jones Trail.
  • Completion of PSE and ROW will make this section of the trail “shovel ready” and thus eligible for additional grant funding that it can’t qualify for in its present state. Those grants save SLO County money that can be used on other needs.
  • Families, children and individuals from all over SLO County currently use the Bob Jones Trail. Let’s complete the entire project to improve the safety, physical fitness and quality of life for residents and visitors throughout SLO County.

What can I do about it?

EMAIL: Contact the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors by email at boardofsups@co.slo.ca.us and ask them to place an item on the agenda in the very near future to put the Request For Proposal (RFP) for Plans, Specs and Engineering (PSE) and Right of Way (ROW) for the South Higuera to Ontario Road section of the Bob Jones Trail out to bid. Remember to be respectful and to clearly state what you are writing about.

Feel free to amend, copy and paste the text included below:

Esteemed Supervisors,

I’m writing today to comment on Item 13, “Status update on the Public Facilities Financing Plan for Unincorporated Area Facilities”. I respectfully urge the Supervisors to support the completion of the Bob Jones Trail by placing an item on the agenda in the very near future to put the Request For Proposal (RFP) for Plans, Specs and Engineering (PSE) and Right of Way (ROW) for the South Higuera to Ontario Road section of the trail out to bid. Not only has the RFP been completed and approved by Caltrans, grant money will pay for roughly 75% of the cost. With $750,000 of grant money available, the County will pay $280,000 or less to award this contract. Completion of PSE and ROW will make this section of the trail “shovel ready” and thus eligible for additional grant funding that it can’t qualify for in its present state.

Delay in putting this contract out for bid may have serious repercussions. Construction costs will of course rise over time. The longer the delay, the higher the cost. In light of the time and money already been spent, moving forward now will help keep costs down on a project already in progress. Additionally, a long delay may necessitate that a supplemental EIR be prepared, adding additional costs, additional delays and once again raising the price to complete the Bob Jones Trail.

Portions of the Bob Jones Trail now in use serve the recreational and fitness needs of pedestrians and bicycle riders countywide. Families, children and individuals flock to the safety and beauty offered by the trail. Tourists and tourist dollars from outside SLO County are drawn year-round to the already completed section of the trail linking Ontario Road with Avila Beach.

I support the Supervisors efforts to improve the safety, physical fitness and quality of life for residents and visitors throughout SLO County. Completing the Bob Jones Trail accomplishes all three.  Please add this item to the Supervisors agenda as soon as possible.

Thank you,

(Your Name, Your Address)

Attend the Board of Supervisors Meeting:

When: March 7th, 2017. The meeting begins at 9. It is uncertain when Item 13 will be discussed, but to be on the safe side try and be there no later than 9:30 a.m. Please note that Item 13 is listed as “Status update on the Public Facilities Financing Plan for Unincorporated Area Facilities”, not as Bob Jones Trail. On this item Supervisors will be discussing Parks funding in general and while they will not be able to make a decision directly on the Bob Jones RFP, this is the best time to address the Supervisors and ask that they keep the Bob Jones Trail alive and moving forward.

Where: Government Center Board Chambers located at 1055 Monterey Street, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401.

How: Submit a BOARD APPEARANCE REQUEST FORM prior to the Item being presented on the agenda. These are available at Board of Supervisors meeting.

The Bob Jones Trail Needs Your Help

Tell the SLO County Board of Supervisors to move forward with the Bob Jones Trail

Tuesday, February 24th is a busy day for bicycles in San Luis Obispo county. Yesterday we talked about octagonbarn440SLOCOG’s Edna Price Canyon Anza Trail Project Workshop #1 taking place on the night of February 24th, and today we’re highlighting the upcoming SLO County Board of Supervisors certification of the Final Environmental Impact Report for a 4.5 mile section of the Bob Jones Trail earlier the same day.

Help complete the Bob Jones Trail

The Friends of the Bob Jones Trail (a partnership of the San Luis Obispo County Bicycle Coalition and the Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County) needs your help on an important milestone regarding the long-awaited extension of the Bob Jones Trail. On Tuesday, Feb. 24, the SLO County Board of Supervisors will consider certifying the Final Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for a 4.5-mile extension of the trail from the historic Octagon Barn on Higuera Street to the trail’s staging area on Ontario Road. The board will also approve the trail’s alignment, which includes under-crossings of San Luis Bay Drive and Highway 101.

What can you do?

1. Mark February 24 on your calendar. We won’t know what time the public hearing is scheduled until a week before the meeting, but want as many people as possible to attend to show their support for the Bob Jones Trail. Families with children are especially encouraged to attend to underscore the importance of introducing children to nature and recreational activities. The meeting will take place in the Board of Supervisors’ chambers, County Government Center, 1055 Monterey St., SLO, CA 93401. We will let you know what time as soon as that information becomes available.

2. Take a brief survey about the Bob Jones Trail at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/DMXCMMM. We will compile the data and present it to the Board of Supervisors. We want as many trail users as possible to take the online questionnaire.

3. Send an e-mail to your county supervisor or the entire board asking them to certify the Final EIR and approve the trail alignment. Supervisors and their e-mails are:

District 1: Frank Mecham – fmecham@co.slo.ca.us

District 2: Bruce Gibson – bgibson@co.slo.ca.us

District 3: Adam Hill – ahill@co.slo.ca.gov

District 4: Lynn Compton – lcompton@co.slo.ca.us

District 5: Debbie Arnold – darnold@co.slo.ca.us

The Friends of the Bob Jones Trail is a partnership of the San Luis Obispo County Bicycle Coalition and the Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County. Our No. 1 goal is encouraging and shepherding completion of the trail in a more timely fashion. The EIR is posted on the SLO County Planning Departments website at www.sloplanning.org under “Environmental Impact Reports.”