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City seeks funding for $5-million park redesign

Officials are hoping to expand the budget to upgrade Johnny Carson.

September 27, 2011|By Maria Hsin, maria.hsin@latimes.com
  • Rachel Davila rests underneath the shade as she reads on her Kindle at Johnny Carson Park in Burbank on Friday, August 12, 2011. (Cheryl A. Guerrero/Staff Photographer)
Rachel Davila rests underneath the shade as she reads…

The redesign of Johnny Carson Park is underway, and city officials could tap three grants to help cover the estimated $5-million price tag.

The city has been setting aside money for the project — $2.5 million so far through the Redevelopment Agency — but three grant applications, if submitted, would determine the city’s eligibility for additional funds, said Jan Bartolo, deputy director of park services.

Should the city qualify, that could mean an additional $2.8 million to help meet its sustainable design goals, including a drainage system to keep dirty water out of the Los Angeles River.

Bartolo said that while the $2.5 million set aside for the project is sufficient to pursue a variety of upgrades at the park, city officials are looking at a budget of $5 million for a complete redesign.

“We would ideally love to have a $5-million project budget, and we’re actively soliciting funding,” she said.

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The city was recently declined a $2.5-million grant, she noted.

The three grants are being solicited from the state’s Department of Parks and Recreation, and one grant alone could mean $2 million to $2.5 million for park improvements, she said.

Two additional grants could fund $300,000 worth of improvements, but require a 50% match. The matching funds would come out of the project budget, Bartolo said.

It could take until spring for the city to hear back about the smaller grants and until summer about the larger grant, Bartolo said.

The next community meeting on the redesign of the park is scheduled for the end of October.

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