The Yolo County Board of Supervisors has approved $1.6 million from US bailout funds to be allocated to a new park in Knights Landing.
In September 2021, supervisors approved the formation of five working groups — mental health; parks and community facilities; child, youth and family; food security and housing and homelessness – to work in specific priority areas within the US Rescue Plan (ARP). Each of the task forces have since worked with council liaisons to develop plans for how their share of funding should be distributed across the county.
“We had a number of meetings to gather feedback from stakeholders and internal staff on how we were going to spend the $3 million allocated to parks and facilities,” said Kevin Yarris, director of general services, during the meeting of the supervisory board. Last week.
Yarris explained that the Parks and Facilities Task Force came up with four sub-categories, including capital investment, programming, marketing and equipment. Several proposals have been submitted, with the largest request for funding coming from the county administrator’s office for the new Knights Landing park.
“When we talk about transformation with ARP funding, it’s a classic example of that transformation,” Yarris explained. “It’s a community that doesn’t have park facilities. There is a boat launch up there, but it’s not good for kids. We don’t have a park like we have in Esparto and other communities.
The entire park is expected to cost around $4.1 million. The amount of $1.6 million approved by the supervisors will trigger the first phase of the work which will include picnic tables, soccer fields, a basketball court, an irrigation system and general protection measures for the site. Yarris explained that staff hope this first phase of construction will show the state that the county is committed to building this park so that other phases of work can be completed with grants.
“We’ve been talking to residents and going door to door and it’s a project in this community that residents need and want,” supervisor Angel Barajas said. “The school district has partnered with us to provide the opportunity to build a future park. It is now. If we don’t put a skin in the game, no one will build a park in Knights Landing. It’s been long overdue.
Staff also supported the allocation of $330,000 for park improvements at Tuli Mem in Esparto. The task force also recommended funding Tuleyome for Valley Vista trails and the Yolo Basin Foundation for an environmental education program.
Both the Valley Vista and Yolo Basin Foundation proposals represent one-time investments that will provide ongoing countywide benefits, including education and outreach and stipends for volunteers to carry out sustainable trail work, explained Yarris. All of these recommendations left a balance of over $700,000 in available funds that can still be used for parks and facilities.
Supervisors approved these recommendations in a unanimous 5-0 vote.
“Those of us who live in cities can sometimes take parks for granted because we have them,” supervisor Jim Provenza said. “Secondly, it’s the first place you take your grandchildren when they come to visit. They are very necessary.
Staff are expected to return to the board on April 12 with a full review of the ARP spending plan to update supervisors on the status of the ARP process, where funds have been allocated geographically in the county, what funds have not yet been allocated and to discuss future steps.