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City park projects back on track

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Sixteen city park projects on hold since 2004 due to lack of funding are finally back on line after money was found for their completion.

Angry residents filled Recreation and Park Commission meetings two years ago, when The City was forced to put the capital improvement projects — such as building playgrounds, Buena Vista Park landscaping, revamping the Sava Pool — on the back burner. But after closing out its books for fiscal year 2005-06, the Recreation and Park Department secured enough money from outside sources to pull the projects from the shelf.

In 2000, San Francisco passed Proposition A, which allocated a $110 million bond to implement the Recreation and Park Department’s Capital Improvement Plan. The proposal outlines renovation plans for 440 park projects in a 10-year period beginning in 2000. But for the past two years, 16 projects were put on hold.

The projects will be funded by a combination of bond money, government grants, donations from nonprofit organizations and additional appropriations from the Board of Supervisors. Recreation and Park Department spokeswoman Rose Marie Dennis said that because the bond money is not enough for the Capital Improvement Plan, the department is expected to be able to raise the additional cash from outside sources. The Department needed to secure roughly $10 million to fund the $35 million projects.

"Obviously, that’s a very complicated cocktail, but that’s what thecitizens are expecting us to come up with," Dennis said of finding money for the projects.

The department chose the 16 projects on the hold list because they were further from completion than other projects already under way, and they were not determined to be as vital as other projects.

The bond money initially allocated to the 16 suspended parks was diverted to other capital projects already under way, according to Recreation and Park documents.

Dennis said that even though the 16 shelved projects are back on line, it does not necessarily mean they will be completed within the next year.

Found Money

Sixteen improvement projects the Recreation and Park Department shelved due to lack of funding two years ago are back on track with money from a combination of sources.

Project Cost

Lincoln Park Master Plan $600,000

Lincoln Playground 1,092,722

Hamilton Playground, Recreation Center and Pool 14,300,956

Junipera Serra Playground and Clubhouse 840,000

Lake Merced Master Plan 875,000

Lake Merced Overlook and Trail 145,860

Midtown Terrace Reservoir Top 1,510,927

Buena Vista Park Landscape Improvement 2,536,275

Sunnyside Conservatory 3,039,468

Rolph Playground and Clubhouse 817,712

St. Mary’s Playground 1,680,000

Kelloch-Velasco Park 1,639,627

Potrero Hill Playground 1,382,000

Visitacion Valley Greenway-Tioga Lot 1,246,463

Joseph Lee Recreation Center 701,000

Sava Pool 3,007,672

Total $35,415,682

sfarooq@examiner.com