The project, which has been in the Capital Improvement Program since even before the city’s incorporation, will link two existing path segments for an approximately three-mile-long bike and pedestrian network from Calle Real to the Atascadero Creek Bikeway.
The design and construction of the path are being at least partially funded by a nearly $18 million Active Transportation Program Grant in state and federal funding that the city was awarded in 2019.
Tuesday’s staff presentation included mitigation measures for environmental impacts, such as measures to protect local fish and wildlife, minimize noise, develop a Habitat Restoration Plan and more.
Major concerns from both council members and public commenters came from the fact that up to 82 trees could be removed to construct the path.
“I’m beyond disturbed on taking 82 trees down,” Councilman Roger Aceves said. “This community prides itself on its trees.”
Mayor Paula Perotte added that she supports the project overall, but said that the concerns that she and the public have need to be addressed.
Because of those concerns, the discussion and public hearing on the bike path have been continued to the City Council’s next meeting on Oct. 4.
Other items authorized during Tuesday’s meeting with the approval of the consent calendar include beginning to advertise for bids for the Goleta Community Center seismic retrofit project and executing an amendment to the city’s law enforcement services agreement with Santa Barbara County.
Following seismic evaluation of the Goleta Community Center, the auditorium and dining hall were closed in 2021 until the buildings could be made seismically stable, the staff report said.
With the authorization of this item, city staff will begin advertising for bids for the project to make seismic improvements, with a construction contract estimated to be awarded this fall.
The Goleta Community Center seismic improvement project is estimated to cost about $7.8 million.
According to the staff report, the project has $5.4 million funded by a $3.8 million Hazard Mitigation Grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and $1.4 million in city matching funds, leaving a funding gap of about $2.4 million.
The item executing an amendment to the city’s law enforcement services agreement with the county resolved the dispute Goleta — along with Buellton, Carpinteria and Solvang — filed due to increases in contract costs for the 2022-23 fiscal year.
Following mediation, the City of Goleta has agreed to pay $9,499,341 instead of the original $9,759,127.