Council to mull over new lifeguard tower and other projects

Council to mull over new  lifeguard tower and other projects
Of the several projects City Council will consider funding, one includes the construction of a new lifeguard tower on Moonlight Beach. The current one was built in the 1950s and is experiencing issues with its roof, electrical and plumbing systems. Photo by Jared Whitlock

ENCINITAS — City Council voted unanimously Wednesday night to place five infrastructure projects at the top of its list for consideration. 

City staff will come back with full reports, including costs and construction details, for each of the items in June. At that time, council could approve the projects or request more information and vote at a later date.

The soon-to-be-heard projects include building a new lifeguard tower at Moonlight Beach, funding a feasibility study for a proposed bus transit service that would run along El Camino Real and Encinitas Boulevard and repairing sidewalks at Cardiff Elementary School as well as at other local schools.

Encinitas lifeguard Capt. Larry Giles said that Moonlight Beach is in need of a new lifeguard tower, because the current one has been there since the 1950s.

“The tower is having some issues with the roof, electric and plumbing,” Giles said. “We’re to the point where we’re looking at replacing it.”

He added that the tower is critical for safety, especially since Moonlight Beach is popular throughout the year.

Because city staff has already secured funding for the five projects, or the plans for them are more fleshed out than others, they were given priority.

Council will decide how to proceed with projects that haven’t been vetted or fully funded in the fall — after the city has completed an intensive strategic planning effort.

This spring and summer, council will examine its goals for everything from housing to traffic calming, and also gather community input to overhaul the city’s General Plan.

After the planning sessions, City Manager Gus Vina said council will have a stronger idea of which infrastructure projects it would like to pursue. Then, council will outline projects it would like to see completed over the next six years.

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