Nine months after winter storms ravaged parts of Goleta Beach Park, the facility’s east side parking lot, restaurant and parts of the pier are still closed.
The pier opened for foot traffic in August, but remains closed to vehicles, and sections with benches have been blocked off. Repairs have been underway but there is no certain completion date at this time.
The east side parking lot closed after the storms washed away soil that was supporting the asphalt.
Jill Van Wie, capital projects manager, told the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors last week that $1.5 million is needed to repair the pier and $5 million for the parking lots.
To be fully restored, repairs for Goleta Beach parking lots will require insurance and local funds, and the county hopes for some amount of Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) reimbursement.
Van Wie told the board that the county hopes to receive funding from FEMA to begin repairs on five of the seven parking lots beginning in spring 2024.
Last week, the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a budget revision of $24,544,700 for winter storm disaster recovery projects, of which $175,000 will go to Goleta Beach pedestrian infrastructure to repair sidewalks.
Storms from earlier this year resulted in two presidential disaster declaration and $100 million in county department damages.
The county did receive $775,000 from the county flood insurance policy, which will go to park damages at Santa Ynez park, the Goleta Beach restaurant, and Goleta Beach parking repairs.
The county was approved for federal and state disaster recovery public assistance, but no projects have been approved for reimbursement yet.
Ted Teyber, principal analyst with the County Executive Office, told the board that receipt of reimbursement could take years. Until the county does receive those funds, it’s unclear how long repairs will take.
The approved budget revision depletes the $14 million general fund set-aside for disaster recovery for this fiscal year. That means that in the next budget year, one-time funding will be constricted.
Additionally, $1.18 million comes from the roads fund balance, and $9.4 million comes from the general fund from the prior year.
Additional funding for storm repair will be needed if there is a significant increase in repair costs, if the county faces more damages this upcoming winter, or if FEMA reimbursement is not approved.
Of the $24.5 million, $23.5 million will go to public works transportation projects and $955,000 will go to Community Services District projects, all of which are expected to be completed in this fiscal year, which ends June 30, 2024.
Transportation projects include repairing Santa Rosa Road, San Miguelito Canyon, and Gibraltar Road.
Parks projects, besides Goleta Beach, include a Santa Rosa Park retaining wall, Nojoqui Falls group site, and a Cachuma Lake restroom.