HomeCity Government NewsPassage of County Ballot Measures To Impact San Marino Park, Roads

Passage of County Ballot Measures To Impact San Marino Park, Roads

Originally published in The Tribune’s print edition on Dec. 9, 2016.

San Marino will receive monies from at least one of the two county ballot measures approved by voters on Nov. 8.

“Metro estimates that San Marino will receive $190,569 in local return funds in Measure M’s first full fiscal year, 2017-18,” said Dan Wall, the public works director for the City of San Marino.

Metro – Los Angeles County’s mass transit system operator – sponsored Measure M, formally known as the Los Angeles County Transportation Improvement Plan, which will establish a countywide half-cent sales tax.

“This is in addition to the estimated local return funds from Metro’s three prior half-cent sales tax ballot measures that voters approved in 1980 [with] Prop. A, 1990 [with] Prop C and 2008 [with] Measure R,” Wall explained.

San Marino receives $662,637 annually from the county’s three prior measures.

“Cities can use these funds for a variety of transportation projects: local bus service, street and pothole repair, traffic signal synchronization, sidewalk repair/expansion and new bike lanes, among others,” Wall added.

While Metro doesn’t have any plans for the City of San Marino, it does plan to improve highway interchanges, expand commuter rail lines and add freeway lanes in the Greater San Gabriel Valley and throughout Los Angeles County over the coming decades.

Metro’s first ‘shovel-ready’ project will be the airport metro connector, which will connect the Crenshaw Line to Los Angeles International Airport.

Los Angeles County voters also approved the Safe, Clean Neighborhood Parks and Beaches Measure – or Measure A – which established a 1.5 cent tax per square foot of building floor area on parcels.

According to an email from the Los Angeles Regional Park and Open Space District, which sponsored Measure A, funds from the measure will become available starting in the 2018-19 fiscal year.

Measure A will replace the Safe Neighborhood Parks Act of 1992, known as Prop. A, which will cease as a funding source at the end of the current fiscal year.

Prop. A’s sunset will pose a challenge to the City of San Marino, as Prop. A funds offset the building repair, maintenance, utilities and personnel costs associated with the operation of the Thurnher House at Lacy Park.

The allotment of funds from Measure A to San Marino is not yet known, City of San Marino Recreation Manager Rosa Pinuelas said, however, “the process will include formula allocations as well as competitive grants.”

Another unknown, Pinuelas noted, is that “it is not yet known if [Measure A] will provide funding to the Thurnher House, because the eligibility uses have not been released to us yet.”

The city has received approximately $52,000 per year over the last three fiscal years from the county for the operation of the city facility, and over $425,000 to date.

City staff have already begun efforts to find alternate sources of funding for the Thurnher House for the 2017-18 fiscal year, which commences in July, 2017.

“We have been looking at options to help support the needs of the Thurnher House, namely monitors or staff to help monitor the use of the facility and attend to its need,” said Assistant City Manager Lucy Garcia at a recreation commission meeting in October.

“We are pleased to announce that Rotary Charities, through their grant program, have offered $6,500, as early as this year, to help offset some of the cost,” Garcia added.

Approximately fifty-five percent of San Marino voters supported both county measures. Countywide, Measure M passed with about 71 percent support and Measure A passed with about 75 percent support.


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