Sacramento’s Capitol delegation secured $35.3 million in this year’s state budget for programs and improvements to benefit families throughout the city, money that was formally accepted by the City Council Tuesday in a unanimous vote.
Allocations ranged in size from small to large. Some examples: $275,000 for baseball diamond renovations for Oak Park Little League and $2 million to turn the old City plant nursery in Mangan Park into a vegetable, flower, and herb farm where young people can be mentored and trained in horticulture.
Assemblymembers Kevin McCarty and Jim Cooper, along with state Sen. Richard Pan, all won budget allocations. McCarty carried legislation that delivered $13.5 million for community reinvestment in projects such as the baseball diamonds, the renovation of the city building in Winn Park to house the Center for Latino Arts and Culture, and funding for after-school programs at Hiram Johnson High School.
One of the larger ticket items is $10 million to improve access to the Lower American River Parkway. Fairytale Town, the beloved children’s theme park, will receive $1.8 million to help pay for a long-planned expansion.
Fairytale Town plans to break ground by next summer on a new story center where children can write, act out and produce their own stories.
Nearly $7 million will also go to expand youth employment opportunities.
“In the midst of this global pandemic that has impacted so many people in a very harsh way, the state economy is booming like we’ve never seen before,” Assemblymember McCarty said in a Zoom appearance at the Council. “ It has allowed us to take a look at what we can do to re-invest in our neighborhoods.”
McCarty noted that the state budget also included statewide items that represent long-held goals for him and for others on the Council, including Mayor Steinberg. “Universal pre-K, college savings accounts for everyone — this is now reality,” McCarty said.