Lindsay announces new updates in park improvement plan thanks to $4.6M grant

The city of Lindsay receives close to $5 million in long awaited funding to allow the Olive Bowl Renovation/Kaku Park Expansion project

LINDSAY – After years and years of waiting, Lindsay’s dream of renovating one of its most beloved parks will finally come true. After being awarded $4.6 million, Lindsay’s Olive Bowl/Kaku Park expansion will no longer have to scale back renovations due to cost.

Earlier this year, the city of Lindsay applied for a grant through the Caltrans Clean California Local Grants program. Earlier this month the city learned they were awarded $4,650,920 ultimately allowing for a budget expansion and new additions to their already existing plan.

Lindsay planning manager, Curtis Cannon, explained that they are now able to plan for much more extensive renovations such as shade structures, ball fields, lighting, irrigation systems and the most exciting part, adding a skate park. 

The additional $4.6 million was added to an already existing $3.6 million grant received in 2018. The budget for this project has now successfully doubled to allow for an impressive total of $8.3 million.

There are several improvements that need to be made in the park. Now that the city has received this multi-million dollar boost, they are able to do more than just rehabilitate certain portions of the park. Instead now they will be able to create brand new designs and implement them throughout the park. According to Cannon, a few of the big picture ideas include the addition of a skate park, larger shaded areas, circuit training around the perimeter with complete new lighting and irrigation systems. 

“It means more extensive shade trees, bigger trees, the ball fields are going to be basically brand new. Because existing conditions are just not great out there. …We’re going to be able to do the full lighting so we can have night games,” Cannon elaborated.

Also included in the updates are new restrooms, concessions with a storage building, playgrounds and picnic arbors with large shade structures and walking trails with training equipment.

Cannon’s next step before the city can break ground is getting approval of the Restricted Grant Agreement required by caltrans. In other words this agreement allows for the explanation of future plans for the grant money to the city council. This is projected to take place at the City Council meeting at the end of April. From there the plans have to be 100% finalized and then receive approval from city council as well. 

Cannon expressed his gratitude for having more funds than allotted originally. When all the city had to work with was $3.6 million, their expected budget came in closer to $6 million for all anticipated upgrades. This clearly was an issue and sparked the city’s interest in applying for more funding. Now with the $8 million budget, this provides a safety net for any changes rather than starting with a little over half of expected expenditures. 

Before shovels can hit the  dirt though, Cannon said that designs still need to be finalized. “We’d love to start this year if we could, but I don’t think that we will be completely ready to go until spring [2023],” Cannon said.

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