Thursday, October 29, 2020

City Council Awards Community Grants, Hears Parking Enforcement Improvements

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Awarding Community Grants was the main focus on the July 21 Coronado City Council meeting. There were 104 public comments submitted in advance, with 102 of those advocating for community grant money for various organizations. Thirteen out of the 16 local organizations requesting money called in during the meeting and most were heard with little technical difficulties. Assistant to the City Manager Dominique Albrecht and Senior Management Analyst Kelly Purvis presented the process that is used to determine community grant requests. There was much back and forth discussion among the council with Councilmember Sandke commenting, “With all the money the city has used up this year, we can’t meet everyone’s wish list.” Everyone praised city staff for their work on this difficult task. The city received $1,355,598 in requests, significantly exceeding the available budgeted amount of $800,000 by $555,598. A major challenge was that 95 percent, or $759,000, of the $800,000 allocated budget was requested by just three organizations, the Coronado Historical Association, Coronado SAFE, and the Chamber of Commerce.

Based on previous recommendations from the council, the requests were divided into four community elements:  Arts and Culture, Community Pride, Economic Development, and Social Services. Then staff went through a five-step process to determine funding allocations.

  • Step 1: Adjust for COVID-19 Cancellations
  • Step 2: Fund Core Civic Events at Prior Year Funding Levels
  • Step 3: Allocate Available Funding Equally Between Each Community Element
  • Step 4: Apply Average Score as a Percentage of Requested Funding
  • Step 5: Cap Each Organization at $100,000 Within a Community Element
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An amount to be given to each organization was determined leaving an additional $58,891 for the council’s discretion. Councilmember Benzian acknowledged that this is always a hard process and said it was important to look at what is essential right now and outlined his top organizations. Councilmember Heinze came prepared with a list of cuts and additions. Councilmember Donovan pointed out that it was important to look at each program’s survivability and had a variety of recommendations. After much back and forth dialogue, Mayor Bailey praised city staff for their outstanding work and looked to create a consensus. Ultimately, the council unanimously approved the Community Grant list shown here.

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Click here for PDF of chart: FY 20-21 Community Grant Awards by Organization

City Manager Blair King reported that last weekend’s Spreckels Park Outdoor Dining Room was a success with more than 120 people participating throughout the three days. The City will be hosting it again this weekend. King thanked the Parks and Recreation Department and Kelly Purvis for helping to coordinate this picnic-type event that encourages residents to get takeout food from local restaurants.

Councilmember Donovan thanked Joshua Tyler for creating the Public Art Walking Tour App for the Cultural Arts Commission. His grandfather Jeff Tyler, former chairman of the Coronado Cultural Arts Commission, gave a brief overview of the new app which highlights the more than 70 pieces in the current collection. This idea has been on the commission’s radar since 2017 but would have cost several thousand dollars. Joshua volunteered to develop the app at no cost, with volunteers and staff helping to provide content. This free app is available to download for iPhone and Android and can be found by searching Coronado Public Art. The Cultural Arts Commission is hosting a contest offering prizes for people who take the tour and post three or more selfies with public art on the Walking Tour Giveaway Facebook page before August 1.

Director of Public Services and Engineering Cliff Maurer gave a presentation on how parking in Coronado will soon be free. He noted that the current IPS Group parking smart meters being used in the city have never performed as promised and are unreliable, requiring high rates of repair with many complaints. The proposed adoption of License Plate Recognition (LPR) technology for compliance and enforcement for the 500 curbside parking spaces on the north end of Orange Avenue and the main Orange Avenue corridor would maximize parking space turnover, be cost-effective and convenient for residents. Functionality and beautification of sidewalks will also be improved with the current meters removed. LPR technology has no fee for parking within the time limits initially, but kiosks can be added later.  CPD Public Safety Officers would drive areas on a schedule during enforcement hours, with the LPR equipment reading license plates and recording time-stamped, curbside, vehicle information. Citations can be generated from the officers’ handheld device, with the information archived. Maurer pointed out that this has been used with high reliability in cities like Aspen, CO, Santa Cruz, Berkeley, Carmel, and Petaluma. He said the initial revenue loss to the city is minimal with currently only charging 25 cents per hour for parking. Two readers, at $55,000 each, will be purchased after the IPS contract expires in November, and then the fine amount revenue will be documented to determine if kiosks will be installed in the future.

City Manager King gave a brief overview of the city seal, logos and other symbols that are being used by merchants and other entities without permission. He pointed out that because municipal governments can’t trademark their seals and logos, the city could amend the City Ordinance to better control usage. He said that because University Blanket and Flag Corp. was involved in the development years ago, they would have a no fee license agreement to use city symbols. The council unanimously authorized this and then Councilmember Sandke had to recuse himself for the second motion on this subject because of his affiliation with The Del. The council also approved allowing the Hotel del Coronado to use continue to use city symbols.

Associate Planner Tricia Olsen gave an overview on the request for a historic alteration permit for a remodel and addition at 1045 Loma Avenue, which the Council unanimously approved.

There were a number of Consent Calendar Items of Note:

  • Authorized Professional Service Agreements with Harris and Associates and PDC for environmental reviews, studies and other projects as needed for future projects.
  • Accepted a $10,000 Operation Stonegarden Grant through San Diego County and the Federal Government for border communities.
  • Authorized City Manager to purchase Radio Flashport/Software upgrade for 47 Police service radios from Motorola.
  • Accepted $381,317 from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Fund.
  • Councilmember Donovan thanked the Ted and Margorie Stern Trust for its donation for upgrades to the teen area of the Coronado Public Library. The Library also received $4,434.97 from a California State Library Grant.
  • The Library and Public Services Facility will receive video equipment upgrades.
  • Authorized advertising the bid for the annual Street Preventative Maintenance Project, which will also include the bicycle sharrows and signage on D Avenue between First and Tenth Street.  A letter has been sent to notify residents of the upcoming project.
  • Awarded construction contracts to Demcon Concrete Contractors Inc for $629,104 to upgrade the chilled and hot water lines for City Hall and the Community Center, which will mitigate rental costs and upgrade the system to work properly long-term.
  • Authorized rent reduction through December for Bluewater Grill, Feast and Fareway, and Coronado Playhouse community theatre due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Dave Gillingham was reappointed to serve a second, three-year term on the Design Review Commission. Donna Crossman was reappointed to serve an additional year term on the Design Review Commission.
  • The Council approved a letter to Senator Diane Feinstein that expressed the City’s support of the “Border Water Quality Restoration Protection Act of 2020”. It also supported a letter to Caltrans expressing support of the San Diego-Coronado bridge physical suicide deterrent project and pointing out crucial items such as aesthetics, emergency access, and traffic, noise, and lighting impacts during construction.


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Jennifer Velez
Jennifer fell in love with Coronado as a teenager while visiting a college friend. She vowed that someday she would make it her home, and that dream has recently become a reality. Fast forward through completing college with a BA in Journalism, Public Relations and Communications, she then went on to work with a variety of clients. She also taught Journalism and coordinated fundraising for her children’s school, and was a staff writer for San Diego Family Magazine and contributed to other parenting publications. Have news to share? Send tips, story ideas or letters to the editor to:


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