By Ashley MackinThe La Jolla Parks and Beaches community advisory committee held a special meeting Dec. 23 to discuss plans for the Children’s Pool Walk beautification project and get updates on related money matters.
With just over $250,000 in the bank — thanks largely to a $200,000 donation from La Jolla resident Tom Morgan — the board needed to approve spending some of that money on the services of design architect Jim Neri.
Neri designed the planned renovations — which include widening of the Children’s Pool walkway, adding an overlook to the gazebo, building new seating and replacing old planters with new ones to cover crumbling walls — at a cost of approximately $250,000. He is currently seeking contractors to do the work.
Through a statement read by LJP&B member Phyllis Minick, Neri requested the board approve “$51,311 in additional fees for the design development, engineering, construction documents, plan processing, permit fees, BID administration and construction services, as submitted in the Dec. 12, 2013 proposal by Neri Landscape Architecture (NLA).”
The LJP&B board, to cover any additional and unforeseen fees, voted to approve an amount “not to exceed $55,000” to be paid to NLA. Neri said he would offer a fee reduction because he believes this project should come to fruition.
“Since this is a community-funded project in my own community, NLA is discounting our fees 20 percent and is not charging the customary 10 percent markup of our consultant fees, saving $6,500 in fees for the construction of this much-needed project,” his statement read.
While one set of fees was reduced, another increased. Minick reported that city permit costs have increased by 20 percent since the project’s inception three years ago, which translates into $53,000.
However, Minick said she received a letter from the city indicating that $70,000 would be available in mid-2014, and another $30,000 might also become available. “Should we laugh or cry?” she joked, reflecting on the three years spent and dozens of grant proposals submitted for this project. “We thank (District 1 City Councilmember) Sherri Lightner for getting this done.”
Minick said, on the advice of some board members, that she will request $70,000 be used to cover city-permit costs.
While relieved at the announcement, one person at the meeting expressed outrage that the city is charging permit fees at all. “How dare they charge us for permits when we raised the money to fix their sidewalks?” Bill Robbins said.
Minick said those who helped fund thesidewalk beautification project will be thanked via a plaque placed on site with Morgan’s name in prominence.
The following donors would be listed for their respective contribution:
$500: RB Bottomley & L Miller Trust, KC Morton, and Mr. and Mrs. Scott Smith
$1,000: The La Jolla Kiwanis Club, Warwick’s Books and Walter S. King
$5,000: Phyllis and Stan Minick
$10,000: Casa de Manana & Casa Club
$35,000: Farnham Family Fund
$200,000: Tom Morgan
Donations are still being accepted. Minick also said she would like the plaque to look like the mosaic tiles found at the Shores.
In other Parks and Beaches news:■ Conservation Signs: Zach Plopper with WildCoast, an organization working to conserve coastal and marine ecosystems, presented a template for the “You are here” signs that would explain Marine Protected Areas (MPA) in La Jolla. He said the sign would likely be approximately 12 by 20 inches, and explain the rules of the MPA that spans from Scripps Pier to the Cove.
By having a comprehensive sign with up- to-date information, Plopper said he hopes to reduce the quantity of signs currently in place.
LJP&B member Patrick Ahern suggested the sign lay horizontal instead of being placed vertically to avoid view impacts. Plopper said that would be considered, but they would likely have a sign fixed to the chain-link fence that would go up during the Cove lifeguard tower construction.—
LJP&B next meets 4 p.m. Monday, Jan. 27 at the La Jolla Rec Center, 615 Prospect St.