Wednesday, 2 May 2012

San Gabriel seeks additional funds for Vincent Lugo Park renovation

SAN GABRIEL - The city has applied for additional grant funds to finish the first phase of the Vincent Lugo Park Renovation Project, which began more than a year ago.

The first portion of the three-phase renovation project began in February 2011, and has run into a few unexpected snags along the way. Those have cost the city additional money, time and resources.

According to a staff report, the project has already garnered $400,000 in Los Angeles County grant money. Last week, council approved an application for $50,000 in additional county funds to pay for the extra costs.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation has given $7,400 to the Friends of La Laguna for emergency work in the La Laguna de San Gabriel Playground located in San Gabriel's Vincent Lugo Park March 18, 2010. The whimsical sea creatures, including Sandy the Sea Serpent, were cast in concrete in 1965 were the work of a Mexican artist. (SGVN/Staff photo by Leo Jarzomb) 

One of the major problems, Director of Parks and Recreation Rebecca Perez said recently, has been large pieces of concrete found as workers started digging up the park's new dry riverbed.

"There have been various challenges along the way," Perez said. "When there's rubble we have to dig down deeper and dig out further to create a stable surface. ... That added time, resources, everything."

The first phase of renovations also includes new pedestrian lighting, a multi-purpose athletic field and a walking path.

Resident Bianca Vargas, who lives near the park, said she has been frustrated with it's ongoing closure because she has no where else convenient to take her son to play.

"I don't know what the city does with their money," she said. "I just don't understand what they are doing. It's ridiculous."

Councilman Mario De La Torre said he has also been frustrated with the delay and said he hopes the park can be reopened as soon as possible.

"We want our park to be open, of course," he said. "Parks are very important to us as council members and as residents."

The city's request for the additional funds has already been approved by Supervisor Michael Antonovich and is set to go before the County Board of Supervisors in May., 626-578-6300, ext. 4586

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