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Homeless and Small Business Funding, McKinley Park Renovations Featured at Stockton City Council Meeting

January 27, 2021 at 9:38 am

The Stockton City Council conducted its regular meeting on Tuesday, which included agenda items on grant funding for homeless housing and local businesses, as well as a contract to begin renovating McKinley Park in south Stockton.

The city council approved a $684,000 grant from Enterprise Community Partners for emergency homeless housing in central Stockton. Town Center Studios on Wilson Way, formerly a motel, began operations in December after being converted to 39 studio units by the city, Stocktonians Taking Action to Neutralize Drugs, and the Central Valley Low Income Housing Corporation.

The project is primarily funded through a $4.3 million grant from the state’s Project Homekey. The new $684,000 will provide operational and wraparound services through June 30, 2022.

The city council also awarded a $748,000 contract to Callander Associates for the design of renovations of McKinley Park. The fee was negotiated by city staff to be approximately 10% of the estimated project cost. The city has already received $10.38 million in funding from Proposition 68 and Measure M to restore the park, which closed in 2017 in part due to vandalism.

Planned improvements include basketball and futsal courts, soccer and baseball fields, renovations of the swimming pool and bathhouse, new picnic shelters and restrooms, and parking lot modifications. Construction is slated to begin in 2022 and finish in 2023.

Finally, the city received $1.86 million from the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) plant authorized by the federal CARES Act, the $2.2 million COVID-19 relief package passed in March. The city council approved a plan to expend the funds in support of small businesses, nonprofits, and access to healthy food.

More than a quarter of the funds, $500,000, have been allocated to a program providing $3,000 grants to Stockton small businesses, with priority given to restaurants and those who have not yet received grants. Restaurants and retailers will also be targeted by a $100,000 program to provide equipment for outdoor activities.

More than $500,000 has been allocated to supporting local agriculture, including $400,000 to provide cold storage, preparation, and packaging space. Urban farmers, community gardens, and cottage food entrepreneurs will be eligible for $3,000 grants for tools, inventory, irrigation materials, and other items from a $107,650 pool.

Local businesses will also be eligible for an entrepreneurship coaching program totaling $200,000. The rest of the CARES Act funding, at roughly $372,000, will be reserved for planning and administrative costs.