By Jondi Gumz
CAPITOLA >> A spectacular Oct. 11 fireworks fundraiser orchestrated by Marc Monte, the grocer philanthropist in Aptos, is fully funding a Capitola skate park budgeted at $50,000.
Monte, who owns Deluxe Foods in Aptos and started the Rudolph Monte Foundation 20 years ago, committed to a $50,000 donation.
Thursday night at the City Council meeting, a grateful Mayor Sam Storey praised Monte.
“Awesome fireworks,” said Storey, commending the Monte Foundation for donating $4 million over 20 years to local schools.
“We lit up the sky,” Monte said. “Thank you for allowing me to bring the show back to Santa Cruz County.”
Termini asked if he would return with a fireworks show next year.
“Yeah, I’m in,” Monte said.
Parents Tricia Proctor and Marie Martorella spoke up about their concerns about the safety of kids reaching the skate park, which is planned for McGregor Drive, due to the lack of sidewalks. They asked the council to put off action.
Martorella contended asphalt at the skate park site would need “continuous maintenance.”
She said she was “98 percent ready” to present an alternative site.
Council members had no qualms about the staff’s selection of Mike Greenwald of MG Creations Skatepark Construction but some wanted to get more public input on the design before awarding a $50,000 contract.
“I just don’t think we’re ready to let this go,” said Councilman Michael Termini, who asked for more input.
The workshop hosted by the city on a night when the San Francisco Giants were playing in the National League championship series was not well-attended.
Termini raised the possibility of considering concrete to reduce maintenance expense and drawing on funds set aside for capital improvement projects.
“That sounds good,” said Councilwoman Stephanie Harlan of getting input. “We may want to wait until the first of the year.”
City staffer Lisa Murphy noted the proposed contract has two phases, design and construction.
Termini proposed to award the contract but not obligate the city to build it until the final design comes to the council.
That passed unanimously.
City Manager Jamie Goldstein said staff would work with the designer, hold community meetings and come back with a design.
Termini asked the council for feedback relating to Capitola’s proposed bond measure to improve library facilities.
The council approved unanimously a fee proposed by Community Development director Rich Grunow on building projects that could be spent on stormwater pollution prevention and climate action planning activities.
The meeting was adjourned in memory of the late District Attorney Bob Lee.