Flint Canyon Trail Repairs Top City Council’s ‘Wish List’

The La Cañada Flintridge City Council approved an application to seek federal funding for at least one of four city projects during a meeting on Tuesday.
Staff was recently contacted by the office of Congressman Adam Schiff notifying them of the opportunity to apply for federal funding and that the application was due on Friday, April 9.
With very little time to evaluate more options, LCF Division Manager Ann Wilson presented four projects — Flint Canyon Trail repairs, Community Center renovation, air conditioning for Lanterman Auditorium and the construction of soundwall segments — that possibly fit the criteria of the funding and asked the city council to rank them.
The four City Council members in attendance — councilmember Rick Gunter was not present — all agreed to place the Flint Canyon Trail repair at the top of the list. The city has attempted to secure funding for the repair and restoration of the downslope of Flint Canyon Trail for years. LCF was successful in receiving a $300,000 grant from the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy but that only covers a small portion of the overall cost, which is estimated at $6 million.
Mayor Pro Tem Jonathan Curtis said the city “desperately” needs help with the trail and believes it has a better chance of being approved out of all four options because of Schiff’s familiarity with the area.
“He’s been very supportive as far as expanding the national forest,” Curtis said. “I would tend to lean a little bit to having Flint Canyon be No. 1 because it’s so expensive and so regional and we’re more likely to get it.”
Councilmember Keith Eich agreed, adding that it “has the widest appeal for a broad Foothills community and Schiff knows it.”
Second on the list was renovating the LCF Community Center building, which was built back in 1947. The project is estimated to cost $23.6 million but that figure was from 2009.
“So it’s not a great one to use,” Wilson said. “The scuttlebutt on these projects that I’m hearing from [Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn] Barger’s office is that they are looking at anywhere between $500,000 to $10 million in terms of individual projects. I doubt this would have success, but it doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be on the list. You never know.”
Because of the high costs, the city council directed staff to split the Community Center cost and present it in a way that includes multiple elements and ask for one part of the project — such as design— to be funded.
The installation of air conditioning in the Lanterman Auditorium, a project that would cost $375,000, was third on the council’s list, followed by the building of soundwall segments along the East-South connector of the 2 and 210 freeways above the homes on the north side of Hilldale Drive.
The council’s reasoning behind placing the soundwall last on the list was that it has already received funding from Caltrans in current and previous soundwall projects.
“The thing of the soundwalls we have to remember is that of the four things on this list, that is one area where we have been successful in getting funding at the state level,” said Councilmember Terry Walker.
Wilson said that many cities will be applying for the funding and only 10 projects will be approved.