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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

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.

Breakfast at The Octagon Barn

Come see what’s new at the Octagon Barn

On Thursday November 12th the Land Conservancy are hosting a breakfast from 9-10 AM in The Octagon Barn on South Higuera Street (map).

Enjoy breakfast refreshments and coffee while you learn about what’s next for the Octagon Barn. What’s next for the Octagon Barn? According to the Land Conservancy, Feature-Project_Barn_resize“In addition becoming the new trailhead for the Bob Jones City-to-Sea Trail, plans are underway to transform the formerly private site into a public amenity with the fully restored Barn as the keystone element.”

To find out what’s next come out for some coffee and learn about the future of the Octagon Barn. Guests will be able to visit the Milking Parlor, view a visual presentation with some new slides from Ten Over Studio and chat with members of the Land Conservancy staff and board about the progress of this unique community center.

If you’d like to attend, please RSVP to Lauren at laurenm@lcslo.org or 805-544-9096 x 14.

 

SLO County Bike Trails

Tuesday February 24th is a busy day for bikes in SLO County. The Board of Supervisors will meet to consider approving the final Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for a 4.5-mile extension of the Bob Jones Trail from the historic Octagon Barn, then SLOCOG hosts the first community meeting on the Edna Price Canyon Multi-Use Anza Trail later that evening. Details about both events follow below.

Bob Jones Trail

octagonbarn440The SLO County Board of Supervisors is considering a big step toward extending the Bob Jones Trail on Tuesday, Feb. 24: 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 is also considering approving the trail’s alignment, which includes undercrossings of San Luis Bay Drive and Highway 101.

What can you do?

1. Attend the hearing, which is scheduled at 1:30 p.m. – the first item after the Board of Supervisors’ lunch break. It will be in the County Government Center, 1055 Monterey St., SLO. Bring a bicycle helmet to identify yourself as a bicyclist. We’ll also be distributing “I <3 Bob Jones Trail” placards that people can hold to show support. People are welcome to speak in support of the trail, but we’re more interested in having a good turnout. 2. If you haven’t taken the brief survey about the Bob Jones Trail at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/DMXCMMM, please do so. We will compile the data and present it to the Board of Supervisors. We want as many trail users to take the online questionnaire as possible. 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.us

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

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

Edna Price Canyon Multi-Use Anza Trail

The Edna Price Canyon Anza Trail Project Workshop #1 takes place on Tuesday, February 24th, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. (formal presentation 6:00-6:20) at the Los Ranchos Elementary School Library: 5785 Los Ranchos Road, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401.

What can you do?

By attending this meeting, you will have a first-hand opportunity to provide invaluable feedback that is essential in shaping the future of this recreational opportunity and community connector. Workshop participants will be invited to:

  • Learn about the Edna Price Canyon Anza Trail project
  • Identify how and where you currently use the corridor
  • Help develop a future vision for this trail between San Luis Obispo and Pismo Beach
  • Document any opportunities, concerns, or issues you would like addressed in the project
  • Please bring your friends and neighbors to both meetings to push for the future of great bike trails in SLO County!