- Karie Portillo
THOUSAND OAKS, CA – Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin (D – Thousand Oaks) held a press conference at Conejo Creek North Park this morning to announce $3.3 Million secured in the 2021-22 State Budget for the Conejo Recreation & Park District (CRPD). The announcement included some words from Doug Nickles, Chair of the CRPD Board of Directors and General Manager, Jim Friedl. Both the legislator and guest speakers covered the need for the crucial state budget funding that was signed by Governor Gavin Newsom late Monday evening.
“When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, CRPD went above and beyond to fulfill the needs of our community members who most needed help,” stated Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin. “Senator Stern and I were determined to secure this funding in the state budget, because the work their amazing staff have done for our community during these trying times is truly priceless.”
Assemblymember Irwin and Senator Stern proposed State Budget Pandemic Assistance in early April to aid CRPD in recovering from the financial impact of the last year. In a normal year, CRPD has a $25 million operating budget - $5 million of which comes from fees associated with classes, programs, after school care, facility rentals and more. Over the past year and a half, CRPD has incurred well over $1.4 million in covid-specific expenses and has NET revenue losses approaching $3 million.
“On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Conejo Recreation and Park District, I want to thank Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin and Senator Henry Stern for securing $3,300,000 in the State Budget for CRPD,” said Doug Nickles, Chair of the CRPD Board of Directors. “Covid-related expenses and loss of revenue from canceled classes, picnic rentals, sports and facility rentals over the past 16 months required CRPD to spend reserves to operate. This money will enable CRPD to continue offering the breadth of parks and programs for our shared community in and around Thousand Oaks.”
During the past year, the Conejo Recreation & Park District (CRPD) stepped up to serve the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. Their work included providing childcare for essential workers, operating COVID testing and blood donation sites, and delivering vital services to our community. They did so despite losing money and having no guarantee they would be compensated.
“I am so proud of our team of CRPD employees and volunteers. Our Board of Directors encouraged staff to continuously seek ways to operate, engage with and help the community as the pandemic has unfolded. We’re so grateful to the State and Assemblymember Irwin and Senator Stern for securing these funds and for their longstanding support for parks, recreation and open spaces,” stated Jim Friedl, General Manager.
The idea for this funding was brought forward to Assemblymember Irwin by CRPD who highlighted the significant strain the pandemic put on the local agency. The funding will be used for maintenance and operation assistance.
The press conference was streamed live via Assemblymember Irwin’s Facebook Page.
Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin represents California’s 44th Assembly District, which includes the communities of Thousand Oaks, Westlake Village, Camarillo, Moorpark, Oxnard, Port Hueneme, and Santa Rosa Valley.