Local Politics

Hollister completes Calaveras Park; Rancho San Justo Project stalls

City needs new funds for soil stabilization.

The joint-improvement project between the City of Hollister and the Hollister School District at Calaveras Park was recently completed, but the Rancho San Justo Field House Project has slowed down because of concerns about soil stability.  

Management Services Director Mike Chambless said the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD) will not allow improvements without additional geostabilization because the field house is on school grounds.

With the additional work, the estimated cost of the project increased to $610,000, Chambless said. The project was allotted $400,000 on April 3, 2017, according to the Sept. 17 meeting agenda packet, leaving a shortfall of $210,000.

Chambless asked the Hollister City Council if it would like for him to come back with a motion to transfer $99,504 that was not used in the Calaveras Park project to the Rancho San Justo Field House Project budget.

Councilman Karson Klauer said he was glad the Calaveras Park project came in under budget, but said one reason was because Chambless always pads his numbers so he doesn’t have to come back for approval for more money.

Klauer added that he would support transferring the extra Calaveras Park project funds if, in exchange, the city could receive a reduction on the shared facilities agreement with the school district.

On Nov. 6, 2017, the city approved a master plan for the use of school facilities from 6 p.m. to dusk during the school year, and from dusk to dawn when school is out of session. Hollister would possibly pay the school district $330,000 a year use its facilities.

“We agreed to that number based on some certain things that were put in place,” Klauer said.

Mayor Ignacio Velazquez agreed with Klauer’s recommendation and said the city can also look into saving money through value engineering.

Councilman Jim Gillio also supported Klauer’s proposition and said it would benefit all parties because it would allow the Hollister School District to finish the project while ensuring more funds for the city’s future park projects.

Councilwoman Mickie Luna opposed the recommendation and said she would rather keep the money and use it on another project.

“If there is some way that something else can be worked out to cover the difference, then I would go for that,” Luna said.

Chambless also gave a presentation about the completed playground structures at Calaveras Park.

The city used $400,500 of the $500,000 allotted for the project. The renovations included two playground structures, a rubber play surface, new metal roofing for the gazebo and restroom buildings.

Chambless said a four-year-old girl named Emily told him that Calaveras Park was her favorite park until the city builds her a butterfly and fairy park.



Noe Magaña

Noe Magaña is a BenitoLink reporter. He also experiments with videography and photography. A San Benito High School graduate 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.

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