By Kristina Houck
During a special meeting Feb. 28, the Del Mar City Council authorized the city manager to apply for grants to extend River Path Del Mar.
In a 3-0 vote, council members permitted City Manager Scott Huth to apply for a $150,000 grant from San Diego County’s Community Enhancement Program. Funded by a portion of the county’s transient occupancy tax revenues, the deadline to apply for the grant was March 1.
In case the application is not successful, the council also authorized Huth to apply for funding from the county’s Neighborhood Reinvestment Program. There is no application deadline for NRP funding.
“They say opportunity — you’ve got to be prepared to take advantage of it,” said Councilwoman Sherryl Parks, who led the meeting. Mayor Lee Haydu and Deputy Mayor Al Corti were absent.
The existing trail runs along the south bank of the San Dieguito River from Jimmy Durante Boulevard to the coast. The project will develop the portion of River Path Del Mar from Jimmy Durante Boulevard to the Old Grand Avenue Bridge.
To provide parking for the extended path, Del Mar has secured a long-term lease of a parcel from the North County Transit District at the corner of Jimmy Durante Boulevard and San Dieguito Drive. The city has also worked in partnership with the San Dieguito River Valley Regional Open Space Park Joint Powers Authority and the San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy on the development of the trail.
The project is estimated to cost $470,000, Huth said. The council has already budgeted $20,000 for the project.
“We’re happy to lend support however we can,” said resident Bill Michalsky, chair of the San Dieguito Lagoon Preservation Committee. “This will be a great step forward.
“I wish us luck … I hope we strike gold.”