Local Politics

Bypass road near high school named River Parkway

New name expected to help guide visitors to the proposed River Parkway Trail and regional park.

The San Benito County Board of Supervisors on Sept. 25 approved River Parkway as the name of the new bypass road that will allow drivers to go around San Benito High School during school hours.

The school and Hollister City Council first discussed closing a portion of the street years ago. In August 2015 a group high school students and staff persuaded the City Council to close the part of Nash Road that intersects the school campus.

The road’s new name will maintain consistency with the language in the master plan for the River Park project, Resource Management Agency Director John Guertin said.

“We would like to get this approved today so we can name the road Friday the 5th when we open it, so people know what the name of the road is,” Guertin said.

Supervisor Mark Medina, saying he was not against the proposed name, suggested Baler Way or Baler Highway as names because of the proximity and mascot of the high school, and because there are many River Parkways.

Supervisor Jaime De La Cruz drew a laugh from the audience and other supervisors when he said he would support Baler Way as long as the high school donates more money.

Board Chair Anthony Botelho agreed with De La Cruz.

“In all seriousness, this road is costing a little bit more money, a lot more money than what we thought,” Botelho said.

Botelho added that his last experience naming a road, Red Barn Road, almost caused a fight between two counties.

Valerie Egland, president of REACH San Benito Parks Foundation, said it was fantastic that the road has been put in and that she looked forward to the next rollout of the River Parkway project.

“To have a River Parkway road is something to be really proud of,” Egland said. “We can say that we are in the mainstream of developing good public facilities for our city and county.”

Elia Salinas, candidate for Hollister City Council District 3, suggested Condor River Parkway since Pinnacles National Park is going to receive condors from Idaho and the area is known as the sanctuary for condors.

However, Botelho didn’t care for that idea because the condor is the mascot of North Monterey County High School.

The bypass road is being built by Salinas-based Don Chapin Company. The road is expected to allow access to the proposed regional park and River Parkway Trail and enable San Benito High School to close Nash Road during school hours so students can safely cross the street. The $1.3 million contract also includes installation of a pipeline for Sunnyslope County Water District.

Other actions

Medina and Supervisor Jerry Muenzer presented two checks totalling $5,000 to the San Benito County Historical Society.

“It’s a labor of love accomplished only by hard-working volunteers, grants, partnerships, and donations like this,” Anita Kane, president of the organization, said. “I promise you that your donation today will be put to good use in preserving the historical buildings in our care.”

The following contracts were approved in the consent agenda:

  • Renewed contract not to exceed $94,000 with BHC Fremont Hospital through June 30, 2019 for psychiatric hospital services for adults.
  • Renewed contract not to exceed $94,000 with St. Helena Hospital through June 30, 2019 to provide psychiatric hospital services for adults, children and adolescents.
  • A contract not to exceed $25,000 with Janell White through June 30, 2019 for Resource Family Approval training and recruitment activities. According to the agenda packet, this is in an effort to increase the number of approved foster families in the county.
  • A contract not to exceed $98,000 with software developer ECenter Research Inc. from Oct. 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019 for services of maintaining the data tracking and reporting system for the California Small County Collaborative Whole Person Care program. Mariposa County, a partner in the project, will be charged 43 percent of the costs.
  • A contract not to exceed $20,000 with Carol Johnson-Schroetlin through June 30, 2019 to provide crisis counseling for children and families involved with Child Welfare Services.
  • A $56,400 contract with Studio Architecture through June 30, 2020 to provide design and construction for Phase 3 of the HOME Resource Center. This is the final construction phase that includes up to 10 transitional housing units, according to the agenda.
  • A $52,172.50 contract with EMC Planning Group, Inc. through June 30, 2019 to provide environmental documentation for the proposed Behavioral Health office building. The project is scheduled to be completed by June 2020.
  • Approved $2,433 to allow San Benito County Sheriff Captain Eric Taylor to attend the master Taser instructor school and conference Oct. 28-Nov. 2 for recertification as a master instructor.
  • Renewed a maximum contract of $50,000 with Encompass Community Services through June 30, 2019 to provide substance abuse residential treatment facilities services for adults.



Noe Magaña

Noe Magaña is a BenitoLink reporter. He also experiments with videography and photography. A San Benito High School alumnus with a bachelor's in journalism from San Jose State and a Liberal Arts Associate's Degree from Gavilan College. Noe also attended San Jose City College and was the managing editor for the City College Times, the school's newspaper. He also was a reporter and later a copy editor for San Jose State's Spartan Daily.