By Duane Paul Murphy
A local nonprofit organization in San Clemente is raising money and proposing changes to the San Clemente Pier. Recently established as a nonprofit organization, PierPride is dedicated toward the long-term renovation and maintenance of the Pier, which was built in 1928. The nonprofit organization seeks to raise enough money to renovate and upgrade the popular local icon.
Before PierPride’s existence, the pier itself received funding from the state government. California state redevelopment agencies used to allocate funds to local governments, cities and counties, the ability to utilize a greater portion of state and local property taxes for redevelopment projects. California Governor Jerry Brown and the state legislature in Sacramento passed several bills in 2011 that would ultimately reduce funding for local redevelopment statewide and ensure that those specific portions of property taxes would continue to fund education as well as other public agencies at the local level.
Currently, the city spends about $55,000 a year for the pier’s cleaning, but $1 million has been budgeted for the overall maintenance. The organization would like to raise $1 million to $2 million as a reserve for future projects.
According to PierPride’s website, renovation and maintenance projects include more frequent painting, bathroom repairs, new bait tables, vandal-proof waste stations, bird fecal waste removal and more.
PierPride will host a stakeholders’ meeting from 5-6:30 p.m. on Monday, June 19, at the Holiday Inn Express, located at 35 Via Pico Plaza in San Clemente.
The organization’s first major project will be a professional painting utilizing marine-grade epoxy paint designed to last more than 10 years. More than $70,000 in labor costs and $20,000 in paint costs have been covered by donations, PierPride board member Jim Nielsen said.
In September, PierPride is planning events called “Light up the Pier” and PierPride Month in order to raise awareness as well as money for the projects.