For the past nine months I have been serving as the volunteer Administrator of the Mendocino Coast Recreation and Park District and Manager of the C.V. Starr Center. Considerable progress has been made by staff and Board Members to reduce District operating expenses and increase revenue and donations. One year ago the District’s negative cash flow was $100,000 per month. Today it is $50,000 per month. The Mendocino Coast Recreation and Park District will not have sufficient cash reserves to continue operating beginning January 2011. I recommended that unless the District has six months of operating capital available or otherwise committed by December 15, 2010, the Board of Directors should consider the possibility of suspending all program operations in Fort Bragg and Mendocino and “mothballing” the C.V. Starr Center until such funds are available. Currently property taxes cover a little more than half of the $600,000 annual negative cash flow leaving the balance of about $250,000 a year to come from donations. Unfortunately donations and SCORE commitments (Starr Center Operating Reserve and Endowment fund) have not been enough and property tax reserves have been used to cover the negative cash flow between last June and now. I also recommended that the MCRPD aggressively continue the process to either establish a Benefit Assessment Tax District or ask voters to approve a Parcel Tax in June 2011 to increase property tax funding for the District. The first step is a survey to determine what voters in the District will support. Only 25 to 30 percent of the District’s operating expenses are covered by property taxes. The appropriate level is between 50 and 75 percent. Here is how you can help avoid a closure of these two vital facilities. I am asking the MCRPD staff and you to obtain 300 to 500 commitments and pledges of $100 per month for 12 months to cover operating expenses through June 30, 2011. Pledge cards and more information are available at the Starr Community Center and the Mendocino Community Center. Donations will be held in a special account until the six month goal is reached. I deeply hope suspending district operations and “mothballing” the C.V. Starr Center can be avoided; however, we cannot ignore the fact that the MCRPD will be out of money by the end of December. Jim Hurst MCRPD Executive Director
Here is aPDF file for a SCORE card if you would like to help.
My mother-in-law and I have been building model airplanes in the living room while my wife is attending a weaving conference in Peru. Margaret will be 95 (tomorrow). I am only 70 (coming April) so I do all the work and she supervises! We are a good team.
This is our, just completed, L-19 Bird Dog. Hopefully it will be calm this afternoon and we can go to the Fort Bragg Fog Buster's flying field out Little Valley Road and give it a trial flight. We'll see.
City of Fort Bragg Awarded $4.8 Million Grant for Construction of the Fort Bragg Coastal Trail Fort Bragg City Manager Linda Ruffing announced today that the City of Fort Bragg has been awarded a $4,850,000 grant for construction of a Coastal Trail and other park facilities on 92 acres of coastal parkland that was acquired by the City earlier this year with a $4,165,000 grant from the State Coastal Conservancy. Proposition 84 - the 2006 Safe Drinking Water Bond Act - provides funding for park development in critically under served communities throughout California. This first round of funding awarded $184 Million through the “Statewide Park Program.” Competition for the funding was fierce with over 400 agencies submitting grant applications. The Fort Bragg Coastal Trail project includes development of 4½ miles of multi-use trail along the coastal bluffs plus stairways to pocket beaches in two locations. Nearly 45 acres of pavement will be removed from the former mill site property and restored to native coastal habitat. The project also includes development of two parking lots, access roads, three restroom facilities, picnic areas, benches, interpretative signage, fencing and other improvements. “The City is very fortunate to receive this funding. The Coastal Trail will connect our town to its spectacular coastline for the first time in 100 years. It will draw visitors to Fort Bragg and the Mendocino Coast, and it will provide a fabulous recreational experience for local residents and visitors alike,” said Fort Bragg Mayor Doug Hammerstrom. “The Prop 84 grant will enable our community to realize its dream of continued public access along the entire coastline of Fort Bragg. In these difficult economic times, we are thrilled to receive funding for construction of the Coastal Trail project, and we expect it will contribute significantly to Fort Bragg’s ongoing revitalization.” There is still much work to be done. The City has been working for the past three years on the conceptual design and construction documents for the Coastal Trail and parkland facilities using a $750,000 federal appropriation secured by Congressman Mike Thompson. An Environmental Impact Report for the Coastal Trail project is being prepared and will be issued for public review early next year. Once the environmental review and permitting processes are completed, the City will put the project out to bid. According to Fort Bragg Community Development Director Marie Jones who authored the successful grant application, “It is anticipated that construction will begin in 2011, and the Fort Bragg Coastal Trail and Parkland will be open for public access some time in 2012. Until the grand opening ceremony in 2012, the parkland may not be accessed by the public except on docent-led tours conducted by the City.”
My wife has gone to Peru for a weaving conference leaving me to be the primary caregiver of her 95 year old mother! So, what do I do with "granny"? Today I took her for a wheelchair ride looking for Yellow. She always keeps an eye out for Yellow when traveling between Seattle and Fort Bragg, Yellow cars in particular so, today we upped the ante!