It took some arm twisting and the threat of a lawsuit, but ultimately, all five San Luis Obispo County supervisors voted this week to add four Nipomo park projects to the county’s five-year capital improvement plan.
Fourth District Supervisor Lynn Compton made a forceful argument for adding the parks to the list, pointing out that South County, primarily Nipomo, has generated $10.8 million in fees, but only $2 million had been spent there.
Nipomo attorney Jesse Hill, who sued the county in 2005 because Nipomo wasn’t getting its fair share of park fees, suggested he might have to sue again.
Supervisors Adam Hill and Bruce Gibson initially balked at the idea of adding the parks — Gibson said the projects weren’t far enough along in the planning process, and Hill said it’s not smart policy to spend money narrowly in the community where it was generated.
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Compton persisted. She said plans for a Nipomo skate park are ready to go — and she threatened to “go ballistic” if the park projects wound up on hold another 20 years.
She’s got a point. Nipomo has grown dramatically over the past couple of decades, and while it’s generated millions of dollars in fees, there’s not a whole lot to show for it.
Adding the park projects to a huge laundry list of capital improvements is no guarantee the work will be done, but at least it’s a start. We toss freshly picked bouquets to each supervisor for (1) managing to agree on something semicontroversial and (2) recognizing the needs of South County residents.