At the City Council meeting on Tuesday, June 16th, the Council discussed and unanimously approved the CIP (Capital Improvement Plan) Budget for 2020-21, which includes all walking and biking projects for the City of Cupertino.
Though the City of Cupertino’s income has significantly reduced due to the pandemic, Cupertino is in a solid financial position and has enough budget and reserve to continue to fund all previously approved walking and biking projects. After extensive review by the City’s Finance Department and with the City Manager, Deb Feng, the City Staff recommended to Council that only projects that had not been already approved and funded be delayed in the CIP process.
A couple of the Council members did not wish to accept this recommendation without additional information, and asked to do a line item review of all 30 CIP projects. City Staff provided the complete list, which was then reviewed during a several hour discussion lasting until 1 am. Not surprisingly, the Regnart Creek Trail was raised as a project to be considered for review. The same anti-trail residents spoke in opposition to the project, with a new request by some for specialty concrete walls instead of fencing. City staff estimated this would cost an additional $3-5 million, tripling the cost of the project.
The Council, after much debate, decided to add an additional $400,000 to the project for special ‘noise insulated’ fencing, but confirmed they want the project to continue progressing. City Staff will also look into using precast concrete for walls to see if it is feasible within that $400K cost. A welcome change in the discussion during this last Council meeting was that Councilmember Chao stated that she was now in favor of the project going forward. We hope this viewpoint continues.
Thank you again to all of you who spoke and sent letters to the Councilmembers. It made a real difference in keeping this and other walking and biking projects going forward. We anticipate the next – and hopefully last – go/no go vote on the Regnart Creek Trail will be in September/October time frame. We’ll keep you updated as we find out more.