Supervisors ‘unpause’ capital projects

Courtesy Photo.

In May the San Diego County Board of Supervisors passed the county’s updated Capital Improvement Needs Assessment, and the list reflected both the county’s facilities needs and the expected revenue shortage due to the coronavirus outbreak which has caused lost revenues and increased expenses due to containment efforts. The updated list deferred some projects from planned start dates.

The 19 projects which were paused were “unpaused” by a 4-1 Board of Supervisors vote October 27, with Nathan Fletcher casting the dissenting vote. The projects have combined estimated expenses of $36,995,839 and include the Jamul fire station, the Jacumba fire station, and Pine Valley County Park.

“These projects were all fully funded,” said Supervisor Dianne Jacob. “It’s not like we’re looking for additional funding.”

The county has received $387.8 million of CARES Act funding (CARES stands for Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) which addresses some of the financial impacts from the coronavirus situation.

“We do have adequate funds to address covid,” said Supervisor Jim Desmond.

“Now we can move forward with these. I see no reason not to,” Jacob said.

Fletcher noted that future funding might not be available. “We are two months away from having no money for testing, for tracing, for treatment,” he said.

“I don’t think it’s wise to spend $36 million on capital projects,” Fletcher said. “I don’t think we should do that given the economic uncertainty.”

The resumption of the capital improvements process allows funding of $300,000 for land acquisition of Fire Station #36 in Jamul (the program identifies separate pre-construction, or land acquisition and design, and construction phases), $150,000 for land acquisition and construction for Fire Station #43 in Jacumba, and $165,000 for a new playground shade structure at Pine Valley County Park.

“Every one of these projects is going to put people to work and create jobs,” Jacob said.

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