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The Town of Discovery Bay Community Services District (CSD) Board has taken another step in its concerted efforts to improve and update the appearance of its public areas.

At the June 2 regular meeting, the board approved the order of importance for projects to be covered by the Proposition 68 per capita grant it will receive sometime next year. The town will receive $187,441 with two conditions – it must match 20% of that amount in cash or labor, and the money cannot be used for maintenance purposes, only for creating new recreation features.

Parks and Landscape Manager Bill Engelman said he discussed three projects with the Discovery Bay Parks and Recreation Committee before coming to the board, and recommended they be approved for the grant application, which is due by the end of the year.

“Cornell Park will receive a complete new basketball court, with hoops and benches,” Engelman said. “Second is the replacement of the barbecue area amenities, such as tables and prep tables, and third, new uniform benches, trash and recycle receptacles throughout the park. Those are the goals to fit into the budget and those are our ranking order based on board action.”

Engelman also said the town plans to meet its goal of raising $37,488 – the required 20% – through labor. Whatever it can’t raise through labor will be put toward the project in cash from Zone 8 monies.

“We chose Cornell Park because it is our oldest park and in most need of update,” Engelman explained. “The areas chosen will give us our best value in terms of current park usage.”

Engelman joined the team in Discovery Bay in 2019 and was chosen for his experience in landscape design and architecture. He has currently undertaken a project to redesign the landscaping of the public areas in town, beginning with Discovery Bay Boulevard. Earlier this year, much of the old vegetation was cleared away, and new drought-friendly accents were added. He also created a test area at the intersection of Point of Timber and Poe Drive to see how his new landscape design would look.

“Based on costs, we can’t do the entire town like that, but we are selectively choosing areas, like on the boulevard, to bring in some of those concepts,” he said. “The median on Discovery Bay Boulevard has turf, and that is slated for a dry scape next fiscal year . . . new laws say you can’t have irrigated turf on an island unless it’s being used for recreational purposes.”

In March, the town also applied for a competitive grant to create a new, linear park along Clipper Drive. The town went through an extensive process to gather public input, hosting virtual town halls to see what people would like to have in a new park. The requirements of the grant prevented its use on parks like Cornell or Slifer, but the unused common areas along the south side of Clipper Drive between Windward Point and Cove Place met criteria perfectly.

“We will learn more on that in August,” Engelman said. “If we are awarded it, that would be very exciting.”

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