▸ Government body: Half Moon Bay City Council
▸ Time and date: 7 p.m., April 18
▸ Members present: Deborah Penrose, Joaquin Jimenez, Robert Brownstone, Harvey Rarback, Debbie Ruddock
▸ Staff present: Deputy City Manager John Doughty, City Clerk Jessica Blair, City Attorney Catherine Engberg, Community Services Analyst Julissa Acosta, Administrative Services Director Lisa Lopez Rossi, Public Works Director Maziar Bozorginia, Economic and Community Vitality Manager Karen Decker.
▸ Community grants: The council opened the application period for the Community Services Financial Assistance grant program that provides tens of thousands of dollars to local nonprofits helping the most vulnerable communities on the coast. Applications opened on April 19 and are due by May 14. Like last fiscal year, the city will grant $300,000 to nonprofits providing safety net and essential services, which include providing food, housing, clothing, job-related support, child care and mental health support.
Staff will distribute funding between July and August. In fiscal year 2022-23 fiscal year, the council approved $300,000 to be split between nine nonprofits. ALAS and Coastside Hope both received $50,000, the largest contributions. As in the last cycle, all nonprofits must participate in meetings to share tips, concerns and best practices. The program began in 2018 and has shifted its focus to contribute to COVID-19 relief and safety-net services in the last few years.
“We’ve learned a lot this year about how well organizations can do when they work together,” Mayor Deborah Penrose said. “I like the idea that we’re doing to keep that focus.”
▸ Downtown renovation: The council signed off on the first phase of the Downtown Streetscape Master Plan, which essentially calls for a Main Street facelift from Higgins Canyon Road in the south to Highway 1 in the north. The project is based on a recommendation from the Coastside Recovery Initiative to create more vibrant commercial and community spaces. The first phase involves public engagement and preliminary conceptual design from the Main Street Bridge to Correas Street.
Toole Design, an Oakland-based firm, was selected from 10 bidders required to demonstrate how their work considered diversity, equity and inclusion, according to the staff report. The firm will handle public outreach and organize “roundtable discussions to provide the opportunity for everyone, including Spanish speakers and other stakeholder groups to fully engage in planning for the future of Half Moon Bay.” The council agreed on a $232,000 contract with Toole Design to plan the project.
“Our downtown is special as it is. We don’t need to overdesign and overthink this,” said Erica Wood, the city’s economic recovery consultant. “Instead, how do we enhance the assets we already have?”
▸ Capital improvement: Half Moon Bay Capital Improvement Program includes 43 programs and projects listed for fiscal year 2022-23 totaling more than $16 million. Not all were fully funded. More than $3.7 million came from Half Moon Bay’s General Fund while $6.5 million came from federal, state and regional grants. The city is seeking more grants to balance the remaining $5.9 million. Next fiscal year the CIP cost is forecasted to be around $16.4 million.
▸ Quote of the day: “E-bikes are to bicycles what pickleball is to tennis. When you can’t play tennis anymore, you play pickleball and it’s great for you. And same with an e-bike.” Half Moon Bay resident Chad Hooker was among multiple speakers who said the council should reconsider its decision to ban e-bikes on the Coastal Trail within city limits because they can help seniors access the outdoors and not everybody may prefer to bike along Highway 1.
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