A U.S. congressional committee this week approved a request by Rep. Anthony C. Beilenson (D-Woodland Hills) designating $3.2 million for a new phase of improvements for Lake Balboa and the wilderness area in the Sepulveda Basin.
The House Appropriations Committee pared down Beilenson's initial request of $4.2 million for the project, but his legislative director, Melissa Kuckrow, said that the congressman was satisfied with the final amount approved Wednesday and is optimistic that the House and Senate will vote for approval.
"This really keeps the money in the pipeline, which will help to pay for more amenities that will make this park an even greater place to visit," Kuckrow said.
Among improvements planned, some of which are already underway, are a new children's play area, bike paths, hiking trails, picnic areas, restrooms and landscaping.
The $3.2 million in federal funding represents matching funds for money previously spent by the city of Los Angeles on the project. A cost-sharing agreement between the city and the federal government calls for a 50% contribution from each entity for the Sepulveda Basin projects. The city's portion comes from 1992 Proposition A funds, which are earmarked for recreation, parks, beach and open space needs.
"The $3.2 million will go a long way toward meeting the recreational needs of the nearly 2 million people who reside in the San Fernando Valley," Beilenson said.