MARTINEZ, Calif. – It is only eight months until the time is up for the fate of the temporary Martinez Dog Park behind the Waterfront Park Amphitheater must be determined. The Parks, Recreation, Marina and Culture Commission (PRMCC) decided they ought to start working on that at their Oct. 15 meeting.
The commission with a long name had a long list of items to discuss, and the dog park is one that they did not want to wait until the agreed time limit to determine whether it should stay where it is, move, be enlarged, or maybe there could be two dog parks. The Dog Park sub-committee was reactivated.
Recreation Coordinator Loni Fa gave a detailed account of the park’s use and said it is used and appreciated, although like all other activities there are peak time of use and quite times.
Pine Meadow park
After Economic and Community Development Director Christina Ratcliffe’s presentation on progress for the future park at the former Pine Meadow golf course site, there were still unanswered questions.
Due to a prior legal agreement, the PRMCC discussed the quick timeline. The commissioners tried to find a way to be more careful within the time limit, which is Dec. 31, 2019. Ratcliffe said there is another public workshop planned before the PRMCC’s recommendation to the council. All agreed when she said the city would be able to get “more bang from the buck” if the work is done now by the developer, but there was the suggestion that even if it cost more, it might be worth it to have more time for planning and public input. (There were four prior public meetings.)
If a council-approved plan is not in place by the end of the year, the developer may simply give the balance of the agreed park funds to the city and let the city improve the park. The scope of it is still to be determined.
Ratcliffe agreed to obtain more financial details on the cost of each considered amenity report back to the PRMCC before they are asked to make a final recommendation. Those figures, may help the PRMCC determine the scope of the November public meeting.
OnStage reports on Campbell Theater
The OnStage report showed growing attendance, more program and production, a larger list of benefits for the community, a long list of repairs, enhancements and upgrades provided by the sub-tenant, and an average of 650 volunteer hours per month to keep live theater alive in the town.
OnStage is the theater company that subleases the Campbell Theater from the City of Martinez. The live theater performances are an amenity that contributes to the quality of life in town and encourages other sorts of artistic, cultural and business activities in Martinez. The city has rented the theater to OnStage at a less-than-market rate, adjusting it upward as it becomes more successful economically and in terms of community participation. The entire presentation is available online at the city website, www.cityofmartinez.org.
Jim Hayes, from Almar Marinas, reported increased income and expenses, leaving the financial aspects of the Marina remain at, or above last year. Slip revenue was about $350,000 last year and $370,000 this year, according to his comments. They did about $10,000 over last year’s total revenue, in spite of bringing wages up to date in 2019, he said.
Olivia Ortega, Marina manager reported that Captain Ingemar Olsson, a PRMCC commissioner, commands the Coast Guard Auxilary vessel that helps keep the Marina survey. She also described Fishing Derby, Swap Meets, Coastal Clean-up, compost giveaway, and the annual ToyDive/Car Show coming up in November.
The Marina Master Plan and the Marina Trust Land Plan are both in the process of being refined and modified. A large part of the planing goal is to create a delightful waterfront facility for the public and in the longer run, enough income to offset the costs of improvements and maintenance.
Almar leases and manages the Marina and passes through a percentage of income to the City of Martinez.
Michael Chandler, deputy director of administrative services, happily reported that there will be enough Measure H funds available to complete the planned projects, and no projects must be deferred. He also outlines future actions the PRMCC may expect: Before Jan. 31 2020, Martinez will apply to the state for Prop. 68 grants, update code and by-laws are needed, In January 2020, evaluate recreational fees for the coming year and after that, work on a Park System Master Plan.