- Dan Quirk | 23rd Street
Measure Q, a 1% sales tax increase for the City of Del Mar, passed in the November 2016 election with a 66.5% voter approval. While the tax is a general fund tax and not a specific fund tax, the public debate during the campaign identified the key purpose of the tax to be for infrastructure projects— primarily streetscape improvements, the Shores Park redevelopment, and utility undergrounding. City Council officially acknowledged these three projects at its October 23rd meeting. City Council also named the initial members of the Measure Q Oversight Committee in October, including Tom McGreal, Jim Benedict, Al Corti, William Jurewitz, and Dan Quirk. The tax, which went into effect in April, is estimated to generate approximately $2 million per year in revenue and can comfortably fund a bond issuance to finance all three projects. Pay-as-you-go is not necessary.
The downtown streetscape project is moving forward quickly, with construction set to begin as early as spring 2018. The project is now in the City’s 10-year CIP (Capital Improvement Plan) for a total of $4.8 million. The designs call for wheelchair accessible crosswalks, wider sidewalks, and an abundance of trees. More information can be found at www.delmar.ca.us/downtownstreetscape/.
The Shores Park redevelopment is also moving forward, and cost estimates from the Schmidt Design Group should be coming soon. There were initially three designs being evaluated, updated in May 2017 to collaborate more closely with the neighboring Winston School’s redevelopment plans. However, at the November 6 City Council meeting, Council moved closer to a final decision by requesting cost estimates on only concepts A and C, the two which incorporate underground parking at the southwest end of the park. More information can be found at www.delmar.ca.us/452/Shores-Park-Master-Plan/ .
City Council recently created the Undergrounding Committee to spearhead the project, which has an initial cost estimate of $18.1 million. The issues of laterals (individual home connections) and reimbursements to residents who undergrounded prior to the vote will be included as tasks for the committee. Additionally, the committee will hire a consultant to guide the project. Looking ahead, the initial consultant report also identified 15 distinct neighborhoods based on the underlying electrical grid. Which area to tackle first? Prioritization will be based on costs, efficiency, and coordination with other City projects.