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Grover Beach invests $250,000 to improve its sidewalks 

Walking around Grover Beach is about to get smoother. A citywide renovation project will fill in and fix its dilapidated sidewalks thanks to an investment of $450,000.

This money comes from Grover Beach's Capital Improvement Program for sidewalk infill work. But it's only a small chunk of an estimated $38 million needed to fill in missing sidewalks across 509 blocks. Limited funding prompted staff to structure the program into three levels of priority.

"The intent is to prioritize sidewalk infill on major streets and within two blocks of schools, parks, or other points of interest," City Manager Matthew Bronson told New Times.

click to enlarge SAVING SIDEWALKS Street improvement is a top priority for Grover Beach as 26 percent of its roads have limited sidewalks, 9 percent have incomplete ones, and 6 percent have none at all. - FILE SCREENSHOT FROM GROVER BEACH CITY COUNCIL MEETING
  • File Screenshot From Grover Beach City Council Meeting
  • SAVING SIDEWALKS Street improvement is a top priority for Grover Beach as 26 percent of its roads have limited sidewalks, 9 percent have incomplete ones, and 6 percent have none at all.

City officials identified that they need $2.6 million in grants to complete all Priority 1 streets' sidewalks. A staff report stated that funding could be available through the 2022 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program. But Bronson said that the CDBG funds aren't available now.

"The city also has $200,000 of funding intended to design additional sidewalk improvements to pursue an over-the-counter CDBG," he said. "However, the city recently learned that CDBG will not fund new projects, and thus, the city has reallocated this funding for a small sidewalk infill project on portions of South 4th Street, South 10th Street, South 9th Street, and Mentone Avenue pursuant to council direction."

City sidewalk rehabilitation extends to property owners too. The City Council authorized a cost-sharing scheme for sidewalk improvement at private locations. Tapping into general funds between $50,000 and $100,000, the city will foot half the construction bill for property owners based on a first-come, first-served policy. Grover Beach will also design and construct curb and gutter improvements for them. It expects to fund between six and 13 private projects a year.

Street improvement is one of the beach city's four top goals along with economic development, housing and homelessness, and public safety. Bronson said in a statement that the city added 2 miles of sidewalks and pathways in recent years.

"Bicycle and pedestrian improvements were also completed recently near Grover Beach Elementary School, funded by the Safe Routes to School program," he added in the statement. "While additional funding will be needed, council's prioritization of sidewalk projects reinforces our commitment to make Grover Beach accessible for all." Δ

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