Cosumnes Community Services District is moving forward on two vital infrastructure projects in Elk Grove that originated nearly two decades ago but were halted during the Great Recession of 2008. At their Nov. 4 meeting, the district’s board of directors authorized staff to move forward with the design, construction and operations plan for both a recreation center at Morse Park and a fire station in southern Elk Grove.
Both projects provide an opportunity to address the significant growth that has occurred within the district boundary since 2008.
Established in 1985, the independent special district encompasses a 157-square-mile service area providing emergency medical, fire protection and parks and recreation services in south Sacramento County.
“While we continue to battle the immediate fiscal and service impacts of COVID-19, the district must also continue to look forward and anticipate the growing and changing needs of our diverse community,” General Manager Joshua Green commented at the Nov. 4 meeting. “This innovative, forward moving spirit is just one of the ways we strive to exceed the expectations of our community members.”
Both projects are responsive to the increased service demand in Elk Grove as the city continues to grow.
Planning for the 30-acre community park and recreation center began in 2000 to primarily serve the developing East Franklin area of Elk Grove. The park portion of the project, known as Morse Community Park, was completed in 2008 and approximately four acres of the site were set aside for the center.
While development of the center halted in 2008, the district continued to set aside development funds with a vision for building the center when both capital and operational funding aligned with the programming of such a center. The project was identified as a high community priority in the 2018 Parks and Recreation Master Plan. In June 2019, the district partnered with GreenPlay, LLC to evaluate the feasibility of the center, while considering community need, market assessment, and budget analysis.
The preliminary design concept, presented at the Nov. 4 meeting, includes a 34,500-square-foot facility emphasizing health and wellness amenities and includes two gyms, an elevated indoor walking/jogging track, group fitness spaces, and retractable batting cages.
Various sources will provide funding for the center’s construction including Park Impact Fees, Quimby In-Lieu Fees, and specific Landscape & Lighting Assessment funds. Once operational, the district expects the center to achieve 100% cost recovery to eliminate a dependence on new property tax allocations and ensure its long-term operational sustainability.
The fire station project, first approved in 2005, addresses increased public safety demand in the community. The J.D. “Dell” Cann Fire Station 77 will be located at 8350 Poppy Ridge Road.
“This location is positioned to enhance services to our 55 and better population in Del Webb, our student populations at Cosumnes Oaks, Pinkerton, and Cosumnes River College - Elk Grove Center, and the expanding and developing communities in southern Elk Grove,” said Green. He added that this station will improve the response times in some of the district’s busiest areas in Elk Grove.
The district currently has identified funds set aside to construct the fire station, primarily Fire Impact Fees. However, staff will evaluate taking advantage of a low-interest financing plan that will be presented to the board as part of the construction bid award, in an effort to ensure ongoing financial stability and remain adaptable to take advantage of other service opportunities should they present themselves. Various funding sources will cover staffing and operational costs, but one of note is a $7.2 million SAFER Grant the district recently received from the federal government to hire 15 new firefighters and fill five attrition positions.
Wednesday’s board action sets off a series of steps to finally make these plans a reality. The immediate next steps include completing the bidding process for the construction of these projects and developing financing mechanisms for their completion and operation.
Both projects will implement components of the district’s recently adopted Climate Action Plan. The fire station will be bid under the Community Workforce Training Agreement (CWTA) approved at the Oct. 21 meeting of the board, which ensures the hiring of a local and inclusive workforce.
Green stated in his address to the board, “These items are the culmination of nearly two decades of work and a testament to the financial vitality, innovation, and vision of this Board of Directors and the individuals whom have sat in those seats before you, in service to the community.”