The “really” good news is that La Jollan Tom Morgan has pledged $200,000 toward the project, thus achieving a $250,000 fundraising goal, project promoter Phyllis Minick told council members.
The bad news, Minick added, is that won’t be quite enough.
“We could not get the final number on the costs until we actually had the $250,000, and we found out costs are 20 percent more than that — another $53,000,” Minick said, adding she hopes to make up the difference through grants.
“I’ve written 25 grant proposals in the last three years and I’m very much hoping those proposals will generate the difference,” she said. “That and begging down on the sidewalk and glad-handing.”
Minick said community residents and businesses have been more than generous toward the project. She pointed out Casa de Manana retirement community nearby donated $10,000 and cumulative donations of $35,000 were submitted by several individuals.
“I’m sure there will be other bumps in this road,” she said.
Minick also had a bit more potential good news.
“Surprisingly, that same week we got a letter from San Diego Department of Park and Recreation saying they have $70,000 for repairing the Children’s Pool Walkway that does require City Council approval, so we don’t really know what will happen there,” she said.
After the meeting, Minick announced she and landscape architect Jim Neri have begun seeking a contractor to bid on the walkway-improvement project, which could take six months or more.
Improvements are to include vastly improved pedestrian flow along Coast Walk, double-seat walls similar to existing ones at Shell Beach and Seal Rock, the planting of shade trees, repairs to the existing gazebo, the addition of interpretive/historical/educational signage near the new lifeguard station, use of native plants on the bluffs to control erosion and restricting vendor “free speech” tables to a single location.