SLO spending nearly $600,000 on improving one city block

November 24, 2014

city sloThe San Luis Obispo City Council has opted to spend nearly $600,000 on improvements to a single block of Higuera Street, three years after it spent more than $700,000 on renovating two adjacent blocks. [Tribune]

Last week, the council voted 4-0 to authorize $584,000 toward sidewalk reconstruction and the addition of bicycle racks, tree gates, trash cans and other amenities to both sides of Higuera Street between Garden and Broad Streets. Councilman Dan Carpenter recused himself from the vote because he owns property near the project area.

Three years ago, the council spent $704,741 on similar improvements to Higuera Street between Morro and Garden streets. The current phase of renovation is considered a completion of the project.

Workers will begin the second round of improvements in February, which will consist primarily of installing Mission-style sidewalks. Workers will also install lighting conduits and remove four trees from the block that are in declining health.

Higuera Street will lose a ficus, a carrotwood and two avocado trees. The project includes the planting of one additional tree.

During the first phase of the project, workers added lights to the trees in the two-block stretch. The San Luis Obispo Downtown Association pays $5,000 a year to keep the trees lit, but organization president Dominic Tartaglia says it cannot yet afford to add lights to the third block that will be renovated.



  1. Rich in MB says:

    Ha ha ha….Suckers!
    SLO City Voters gave them the Measure G Tax increase….so they are gonna spend it!

  2. shelworth says:

    Is this anywhere near the 700,000 dollar bathrooms that remain locked up?

  3. womanwhohasbeenthere says:

    The city owes CalPERS $132 MILLION in pension obligations and has paid a paltry $1.3 million in the past two years toward this growing debt. Yet we can find $600,000 for unneeded “beautification” that benefits the biggest Yes on G supporters. Follow the money!

    If the CalPERS debt is not significantly reduced ASAP there will be no money for any “improvements” nor police,fire, roads, sewers, and other basic city services. Please get your priorities straight. Oh I guess you did – you paid back the guys who helped jam Measure G through. SLOBIRD is right!.

  4. bobfromsanluis says:

    I do have to wonder how it would work if I had four trees on my property that I wanted to cut down and offered to replace all four with the planting of only one tree; somehow I just don’t think that would work. I have to wonder if our city arborist made the determination himself that those four trees are “in declining health” or if he was pressured in any way to come with the justification for removing those trees.

    When I had my business downtown, there was a tree right outside my front door that made a heck of a mess most of the time, and I had an issue with people tracking the debris from the tree onto my carpet; my solution was to replace the carpet with another that had a very camouflaging effect since the tree debris was of a reddish/purplish color.

    My guess is that a few of the businesses complained about how messy the trees are and this is a way to get rid of a few of them, but the businesses are, IMO, being short sighted since the trees downtown really add to the overall quality of being in the downtown.

    Another thing entirely is the “Mission Sidewalk”; I know we don’t get much rain around here, but if you are ever downtown when it rains, be very careful about walking on the tile portions of those particular mission sidewalks as the tiles themselves can be very slippery when they get wet. I wonder who is liable for someone who might slip and fall due to the tiles being siippery when they get wet ….

    • hijinks says:

      You are so right about the dangerous tile in these stupid designer sidewalks. I’ve slipped on it many a time. But, heck, this is happy town, and Katie Lichtig brags about paying out only about 10 times as much as the city spends fixing broken neighborhood sidewalks each year for settling trip and fall injury claims. Why don’t they just fix the broken sidewalks, instead of doing this designer fluff for downtown, and maybe there would be fewer trip and falls? This city’s priorities are really confused, and we need a new council to fix things — this one will not — they do whatever the Chamber and Downtown Association want, and screw the residents.

      For what it’s worth, according to the No on G folks’ reports, this work will come from Measure Y funds (downtown improvements were never listed as a use for those funds when we voted for Y), and it dwarfs what gets spent fixing broken sidewalks, which several years back was just $10,000 per year! As we said, priorities for this city aren’t benefiting residents and neighborhoods.

    • R.Hodin says:

      Good point Bob. This looks like a cottage industry.

      Attention: To all those who might be inclined to visit downtown SLO during a rainstorm:


  5. Pelican1 says:

    The city should have called Mayor Tony…could get it done for a lot less!

  6. SamLouis says:

    I wonder if this round of “improvements” will include another insipid Rademaker designed sign? Perhaps we need one that points out what a “Mission-style sidewalk” is?

    • hijinks says:

      Aw come on. What’s your problem with Mr. Downtown’s total inability to have any taste at all? This is happy town, we live in la-la land, no need for any brain activity. Just be happy, and get with the program.

  7. SLOBIRD says:

    And several people questioned why the Downtown Association and Chamber of Commerce supported the Measure G Sales Tax increase. The joke is on the taxpayers! Pierre Rademaker, one of 3 local leaders, aka as Mr. Downtown, located in the 700 Block of Higuera, certainly benefits from this, and then Mr. Clint Pierce (Madonna Enterprises), the 2nd local leader who has worked with Copeland Brothers to support downtown so the Madonna’s can continue to build, build, build! Nice job for the downtown businesses and screw the local citizens.

    • hijinks says:

      Did you forget Rademaker’s on the boards of both the Chamber and Downtown Assn.? And the city appoints him to just about every committee they have on anything. Any wonder city hall’s so confused?

  8. TaxMeAgain says:

    Your tax dollars at work. Thanks for voting to allow this to continue.

    • achillesheal says:

      amen brutha.

      I love the last line of the story – the city can afford $600k for one block, but cannot afford Christmas lights that it doesn’t even pay the electric bill to turn on.

      Oops, I said Christmas. I meant quanza lights, er, holiday lights.

      • hijinks says:

        Happy town lights. All year round. Happy, happy!

        Can we come up with a better cliche for this place?

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