With the help of local citizens, the City of Lodi is looking to get a slice of the Prop 68 pie.

Passed in June of 2018 by California voters, Proposition 68 is a $4.1 billion bond measure aimed at cleaning up dilapidated parks, improving water projects, upgrading flood protection and protecting scenic open spaces.

The Lodi Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Department is hosting community workshops and meetings seeking public input as it begins preparing grant applications in an effort to secure a share of $254 million currently available from the state.

The first workshop is scheduled for today at Hutchins Street Square’s Holz Room, 6 to 7 p.m.. in preparation of a grant application to upgrade the site. There will be five meetings in which members of the community can propose renovations or additions to city staff.

Another workshop series targeting Blakely Park will begin on April 19 and extend to May 7.

In an effort to be competitive in the application process, city staff will host 10 workshops seeking community input during the proposal process.

The workshops will conclude with the adoption of a project proposals for the respective sites.

Each project can receive a maximum of $8.5 million dollars in funding and a minimum of $200,000.

The possibility of adding an indoor sports center, which could host workout classes or offer indoor courts is a possibility at Hutchins Street Square, according to Jeff Hood, director of the Lodi Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Department.

“There is a lot of potential with the existing footprint for Hutchins Street Square for a recreational facility, and the space has an aquatic center,” Hood said.

There are opportunities to expand the current amenities at both parks.

“We are open to all suggestions made by the community members, as long as it is consistent with the footprint because we obviously have site limitations,” Hood said.

The deadline for submitting the grant application is Aug. 5. The recipients of the funds will be announced later in the year

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