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Funds Set Aside in Budget Draft for Park

The state Budget Conference Committee has allocated $800,000 in its current draft of the 1998-99 fiscal year spending plan for use at Las Palmas Park.

If the expenditure is approved by Gov. Pete Wilson along with the rest of the budget, the money will go toward construction of a senior citizens activity center at the park, situated at Lashburn and Hollister streets.

“This is the end of a major improvement project at Las Palmas Park,” said Michael Drake, San Fernando public works director. “This would be the final phase.”

In recent years, the city has used a variety of grants and public funds to upgrade the park’s baseball facilities, picnic area and restrooms and commissioned a mural to spruce up the area.

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Next April, the city plans to open a $1.4-million youth activity center at the park, Drake said. The center’s plans call for computers, counseling rooms and outdoor classrooms.

To complement the youth center, the proposed seniors’ center would cost $1.6 million, Drake said. The center would hold facilities for arts and crafts and a lounge.

With $800,000 from the state, the city still must find additional funding for the project, money that would probably come from a combination of grants and city funds earmarked for community development, Drake said.

Drake credited Assemblyman Tony Cardenas (D-Sylmar) with requesting the $800,000 from the state.

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If the city does get the money, said Jose Cornejo, a spokesman for Cardenas, “This definitely puts [San Fernando city park planners] over the biggest hurdle.”


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