Federal aid to finance community projects on the central coast

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The Housing Authority of San Luis Obispo is expected to receive $ 2 million in federal funds to support affordable housing at the five-story Anderson Hotel, which serves very low-income seniors and people with disabilities.

Almost $ 12 million in federal funding could be heading to the Central Coast for eight community projects in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties, the office of US Congressman Salud Carbajal said Thursday.

This includes $ 2 million to maintain a historic landmark in San Luis Obispo as low-income housing for seniors and people with disabilities and $ 375,000 to completely renovate existing 125,000 and 212,000 gallon tanks in Cambria.

On Thursday, Carbajal announced that he had requested and approved spending of $ 11.9 million for projects in the 24th Congressional District that have passed the House and need to be approved by the Senate.

Carbajal’s office said in a press release that the projects will help protect the local water supply, make housing more affordable, and upgrade community buildings to be more resilient and accessible to people with disabilities.

“With these funds, we will be able to make long overdue improvements to community centers, create more affordable housing for families and protect our water supply. These projects will go a long way in improving the quality of life on the central coast and I will continue to fight for our district as the spending bill progresses through the Senate, ”Carbajal said in a prepared statement.

According to the press release, the House Committee on Appropriations announced earlier this year that it would accept applications for community project funding from every member of Congress, which were limited to submitting no more than 10 community project funding applications. for fiscal year 2022.

There was no guarantee that all requested projects would be funded.

Carbajal submitted funding requests for 10 local projects. Here are the projects that have been approved by the House.

$ 375,000 for Cambria Community Services District water tanks

The funds would be used for a complete refurbishment of the existing 125,000 and 212,000 gallon tanks on Stuart Street, which represents approximately 20% of the available storage in the drinking water distribution system. Federal funds will cover about 80% of the total cost of the project, depending on the district.

District Director General of Community Services John Weigold said in the statement that the funding will allow the agency to carry out a project that will benefit the community for decades to come.

“A reliable distribution system not only provides one of humanity’s most precious vital resources – water – but also ensures adequate pressure and flow for fire suppression, which means our forest, our homes, our businesses and other structures are safe, ”Weigold said. “The Cambria Community Service District is grateful to have been considered and selected for this timely ownership. “

In an email interview later, the general manager said the refurbished tanks would be “essentially like new”, but would have the same footprint as the current tanks.

$ 2 million to the Housing Authority of San Luis Obispo for the Anderson Hotel

The 1920s Anderson Hotel’s five-story building in downtown San Luis Obispo has provided affordable housing to very low-income seniors and people with disabilities for over 40 years. The average age of residents is around 70 and the average monthly income is around $ 1,000.

The funding would allow the San Luis Obispo Housing Authority to control and operate the property through a lease with the owners of the building, with grants provided as part of a housing contract and of urban development. The project will also allow HASLO to provide 68 vouchers to the Anderson Hotel, so that permanent accessibility is guaranteed for current and future residents.

“We are extremely pleased with the leadership of Congressman Carbajal in trying to preserve the Anderson Hotel as affordable housing for the elderly and disabled,” HASLO Executive Director Scott Smith said in the press release. “It could be an important first step to get there. “

$ 1.7 million to Guadalupe for LeRoy Park

This project would restore the historic park and make improvements to the park such as additional barbecue and picnic areas, an exercise area and an amphitheater. The project aims to restore LeRoy Park as a gathering place and community event for families in the city of Guadalupe.

$ 900,000 to Santa Barbara County for Lompoc Health Clinic

This project links two separate structures on the Lompoc Health Clinic campus, the Wellness Center and Primary Care, to create additional capacity for the clinic, while improving patient flow and the overall experience. In addition, a generator for the primary care facility needed to support the facility’s information technology infrastructure and resilience in the event of a power outage would also be funded.

$ 112,340 to the Chumash Indian Band of Santa Ynez for a wastewater treatment plant

The funds would be used for the initial technical analysis required to implement the preferred alternative to expand the wastewater treatment plant to serve the town of Santa Ynez. Once the analysis is complete, the project is expected to be funded through a partnership between the Chumash Indian Band of Santa Ynez and the Santa Ynez Community Service District.

$ 3 million for the Goleta Valley Community Center

Carbajal’s office says this project will help reopen the community center, which has been partially closed since January 2021 due to necessary seismic upgrades. Required improvements include, but are not limited to, accessible entrances, accessible routes to improved areas, accessible washrooms, telephones and fountains.

$ 1.3 million to Santa Barbara County for seismic upgrade of Veterans Building

The Santa Barbara Veterans Memorial Building is owned by Santa Barbara County and requires necessary health and safety improvements. These upgrades include seismic upgrades, foundation stabilization, electrical system upgrades, water distribution system upgrades and new windows.

$ 2.5 million to the Santa Barbara County Housing Authority for Escalante Meadows in Guadalupe

Carbajal’s office said the funds would be spent on the costs of building the Escalante Meadows Community Center, which would be open to all residents of Guadalupe and would include early childhood education and welfare services.

The two projects submitted for funding by Carbajal but not approved by the House Appropriations Committee include $ 5.6 million to modernize the San Luis Obispo County security communications system and $ 1.2 million to fund four street lights. intersections of Santa Maria.

Carbajal’s office says funding for the community project is contained in House-passed appropriation bills now awaiting Senate consideration as part of final government funding negotiations.

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Matt Fountain is the Courts and Investigations reporter for the San Luis Obispo Tribune. Originally from San Diego, Fountain graduated from Cal Poly’s journalism department in 2009 and cut his teeth at the San Luis Obispo New Times before joining The Tribune as a crime and breaking news reporter in 2014.


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