California’s Exceptional Budget Surplus Benefits San Mateo County
Projects in Millbrae, Pacifica and Redwood City will provide local and regional benefits
- Susan Kennedy
- Director of Communications, Office of Speaker pro Tempore Kevin Mullin
Sacramento – Governor Newsom has signed SB 129, also known as the “June 28 Budget Package”. This spending framework amends the budget sent to the Governor on June 14, 2021 and while it addresses many funding elements, it also includes funding for some specific projects that will benefit residents of San Mateo County.
“This year’s exceptional budget surplus presented an opportunity for members to request funding for local projects, a first time in my Assembly tenure,” said Speaker pro Tem Kevin Mullin. “I am pleased to announce I was able to secure critical infrastructure funding for the cities of Millbrae, Pacifica and Redwood City. While each of these city-specific projects provide a benefit to the local community receiving the funds, I believe there is a broader benefit to San Mateo County and our region as a whole.”
Assemblymember Mullin’s requests include the following: $2 million to support the reconstruction of the Millbrae Recreation Center that was destroyed by fire in 2016, $7.75 million for the Esplanade Infrastructure Preservation Project in the City of Pacifica, and $5 million to the City of Redwood City to construct the Redwood City Ferry Terminal. There is also $500,000 to repair and replace damage to the Pacifica Municipal Pier that was a joint request with Senator Josh Becker.
The Esplanade Infrastructure Preservation Project will improve and strengthen critical city-owned assets in Pacifica, and the repair of the damaged Pacifica Pier brings a regional recreation asset back to life. Rebuilding a Recreation Center in Millbrae that will now be able to provide childcare facilities presents a regional benefit to working families, and by providing a boost to regional transportation options via the Redwood City Ferry, we are building for a better future.
Local Officials react:
Millbrae Recreation Center
The Millbrae Recreation Center was destroyed by fire in 2016. The new recreation center totals 24,500 square feet and includes a state of the art senior center, teen/youth center with game and study rooms, a fully licensed pre-school for 65 students, a 300-person community room, art room, fitness studio and conference center/class rooms.
Millbrae Mayor Ann Schneider commented, “We are grateful beyond words. This funding will ensure delivery of the new center for our seniors, youth and residents of not only Millbrae but also the region. The fully licensed preschool is a resource desperately needed in the community and with this funding, it will certainly come to fruition as envisioned.”
Tom Williams, Millbrae’s City Manager stated, “The City of Millbrae is truly grateful for this incredible support from Assemblymember Mullin. His recognition of the importance and value this center will bring to seniors and early childhood development through construction of a fully licensed pre-school is a testament to his leadership and positive contribution to his district as he has demonstrated on so many occasions over the decades he has been in public office. We thank him for the outstanding partnership with the City of Millbrae.”
Pacifica Municipal Pier Repair Project
On January 14, 2021, a combination of high tides and large waves damaged a forty-foot section of the Pacifica Municipal Pier’s west facing deck and concrete railing. A pier condition assessment report, which inspected the pier railing/panels above the pier deck, was prepared. The condition assessment report notes that railing sections (panels) identified as severely damaged must be repaired within a year period. Railing sections are identified in the report as having damage from a range of minor to severe with timeframes when these sections of railing need to be repaired. The report identifies 36 panels with major damage and another 44 panels with severe damage. The Pacifica Municipal Pier Repair Project would repair the forty-foot section that was damaged, along with the 80 panels identified with major or severe damage.
Esplanade Infrastructure Preservation Projects
The Esplanade Infrastructure Preservation Projects (310-330 & 400 Esplanade) look to preserve vital infrastructure along the Esplanade Avenue corridor. The area sees episodic bluff erosion that has resulted in loss of many coastal homes and apartments buildings. In order to protect vital infrastructure, the project looks to mitigate base erosion of the beach bluff by installing a protection structure that is the least environmentally impactful.
“The City of Pacifica is immensely grateful for Assemblymember Mullin’s request for funding in the state budget for Pacifica’s Esplanade Infrastructure Preservation Projects. These projects are critical to ensure the protection of Esplanade Avenue from further bluff erosion, and risk to critical infrastructure – roadway, water, sewer and other utilities – that serve the naturally affordable housing in the Manor area of Pacifica,” said Mayor Sue Beckmeyer.
“The City of Pacifica is also immensely grateful for Assemblymember Mullin’s and Senator Becker’s joint request for funding in the state budget for the Pacifica Pier repair project. A portion of the Pier remains closed to the public following significant damage to a section of the pier’s railing last winter during heavy storms. The pier is a significant regional recreational asset, hosting visitors from all over the Bay Area and beyond. State funding will help restore the closed portion, and replace many other sections of deteriorating railing, to ensure the pier remains open and can continue to be available for all visitors to enjoy.”
Redwood City Ferry Terminal – The City of Redwood City has been planning for a WETA (Water Emergency Transportation Authority) ferry terminal for close to twenty years. In 2016 WETA, made plans to add 11 terminals and 8 routes by the year 2035 including a potential terminal in Redwood City. The City completed a comprehensive Ferry Financial Feasibility Study & Cost-Benefit and Economic Impact Analyses feasibility in October 2020. The study offers alternatives for the ferry terminal location and associated construction costs, projected at $21.9M. The City is now working on a Business Plan to demonstrate how the transit service would be cost-effectively provided, how ridership will be attracted, and how the overall project would be financed.
“Words can’t describe the excitement and gratitude I have over this infusion of funds to help bring ferry service to life in Redwood City. I thank Assemblymember Mullin for his leadership and support on this critical transportation project”, said Redwood City Mayor, Diane Howard. “I look forward to continuing to work with the Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA), San Mateo County Transportation Authority and the Port of Redwood City as we complete the Ferry Business Plan. I look forward to the day that we stand together and officially welcome ferry service back to Redwood City.”
“With congestion back and getting worse, expanding high-speed passenger ferry service to Redwood City will provide residents and workers with a fast, convenient alternative to driving”, said WETA Executive Director Seamus Murphy. “The plans show it will work, but it cannot happen without investment, and Assemblymember Mullin’s inclusion of funding to advance this improvement is a game-changer for the thousands of San Mateo County residents looking forward to hopping aboard.