The Coast News Group

Oceanside sends staff to Washington D.C. for tin cup week

OCEANSIDE — Oceanside is the only North County city set to send staff members to Washington, D.C., for tin cup week. The trip from Feb. 22 to Feb. 25 is taken to ask for federal funds for a list of city projects.

Last year the city was granted over $10 million.

This year, Deputy Mayor Chuck Lowery, City Manager Michelle Skaggs Lawrence and Water Utilities Director Cari Dale will have two days of back-to-back meetings with state representatives in D.C. to request funds for 11 city projects that fit earmarked funds.

On the top on the list is $5.5 million for maintenance of the San Luis Rey River, $2.8 million for harbor dredging and beach sand replenishment, and $400,000 to fund a shoreline special study.

The city is also looking for $12 million to expand the Mission Basin Brackish Groundwater Desalting Facility, and $8.2 million to build a water reclamation system.

Additional items include 40 Veterans Administration supportive housing vouchers, $4.6 million for beachfront improvements, and $13 million to build the El Corazon aquatic center.

Lowery said his role on the trip is to give an introduction of the city and city speakers.

A D.C. consultant sets up meetings with Sen. Barbara Boxer, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Rep. Darrell Issa and their staff.

Mayor Jim Wood said showing up counts.

“We’ve never failed to get money,” Wood said. “If you don’t go, I’m pretty sure you don’t get money.”

Wood has made the trip in previous years. He said it’s a hectic run from meeting to meeting and it’s usually snowing.

This year the group is scheduled to attend 14 meetings in two days.

“I’m excited about the potential to bring more resources back to the city of Oceanside,” Lowery said.

Oceanside also works to maintain relationships with state representatives at home, by meeting with their staff in California and providing meeting space for them out west.