Due to the holiday there will be no weekly update to Council next week.
Local sales tax receipts for Escondido during the July – September 2012 quarter grew by 18.6% compared to the same like quarter of the previous fiscal year. This resulted in a $500,000 increase in sales tax revenue compared to what was budgeted for this quarter.
COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT UPDATES
The SANDAG Transportation Committee has approved a time extension for the bicycle grant to enable construction of the Escondido Creek Lighting Project. The grant has been extended to May 2013. Completion of the project had been delayed in order to coordinate efforts with related CDBG improvements.
Following the heavy rains last week, a large stone wall on the property at 828 Khayman (Moir residence) collapsed on December 13th; the property includes a residence on the Local Register, and the wall has been in place for decades. City crews were on the scene for safety inspection and protection of the public right of way. The wall failure has been deemed a public nuisance and correction notices were issued to the property owner. A Notice of Limited Entry was issued for the downhill residents at 736 S. Broadway, and the residents have evacuated. The accessory structure at the top of the wall has been demolished. The property owner has been sent a Notice and Order to Abate a Public Nuisance outlining the steps the owners needs to take within the next ten days
Code Enforcement staff is working with the Utilities Division staff regarding damage to a City water main caused by a contractor working at 1333. E. Grand. The plumbing contractor was installing several hundred feet of privately owned 2” poly pipe gas main to replace an old, failed gas main; the work was being installed directly on top of the existing City water main. The contractor was advised that the gas main would need to be relocated, and a stop work order was issued. Further investigation identified additional areas of damage to the City water main, which had been covered up by the contractor. City crews completed the immediate repairs, and Code Enforcement staff is monitoring the contractor’s compliance with other corrective measures. Staff also determined that the failure of the private Gas Main had compelled SDG&E to discontinue gas service to this complex for approximately 2 weeks, and the residents had been without Hot Water since that time, although no complaints had been received by Code Enforcement staff during this period.
Benton Burn Site Remediation:
The contractor will be on site for the next two weeks identifying limits of work by placing orange safety fencing along the perimeter of the project. The Engineering Inspector has been in contact with the HOA representative to set up a meeting to review how the project is planned to be performed and exchange contact information.
2011/2012 Pavement Management Project:
The Pavement Striping sub-contractor has been held up due the recent wet weather. The completion of this item of work is anticipated by the first of the year.
Talk of the Town:
The scheduled water service taps have been interrupted due to the wet weather conditions. The contractor is pumping out the building foundation footings in an attempt to place concrete once the weather clears.
Mission Avenue SDG&E 69 KV Electrical Line:
The contractor's first crew is excavating in the intersection of Andreasen Drive and Mission Avenue, they are encountering areas of blue granite rock formations. It is anticipated to take the remainder of the week to remove the obstruction from the pipeline alignment. The second excavation crew is crossing Mission Ave at Broadway Avenue, this section of roadway is controlled by Caltrans, so the hours of operation have been shortened to meet this agency's requirements. A third crew is saw-cutting the surface improvements from Grape Street to Ash Street. This work is being performed during daylight hours and between school peak travel times in an attempt to minimize the effect on this densely populated corridor. In the first thirteen weeks of construction, approximately 5,000 feet of conduit has been placed and tested out of the project total length of 15,840 feet
The Grading Plans have been approved for construction and the city is awaiting notification of the contractor awarded to perform the next phase of the operation.
- On Tuesday, December 11, 2012, the Escondido Police Department hosted the Annual Children’s Christmas party for children who have been victimized over the last year. This year, the party was held at Tavern Bowl and was a huge success. The assistance of Tavern Bowl and Westfield Shopping Center was greatly appreciated. The party would not have been nearly as successful without our community partners.
- The police department has started to implementation process for Ops Force Discover and Deploy. These two software programs will assist department personnel in analyzing crime trends in order to direct department resources in the best possible manner. Additionally, we will be able to gather information about calls for service to ensure our scheduling is maximized based on historical data of calls for service.
- Grape Day Task Force Update
Since the start of the increased focus, the Police Department has conducted 209 extra patrols in the park. 51 field interviews, 48 citations and made 32 arrests. The most significant arrests this past week, included an arrest of a narcotics dealer, who reportedly was making several trips a day to Grape Day Park selling heroin. In addition to this arrest, another person was arrested for possession of controlled narcotics for sales. He is the informal leader of the Juggalo group and was likely selling pills and marijuana to other Juggalos and others near the park. Both individuals are currently in Vista Jail and we believe they were responsible for the majority of the narcotics sales in and around the park. Information Systems reported they hope to have the existing cameras fixed in Grape Day this week. They will then assess where additional cameras can be installed to provide additional surveillance of the park and surrounding areas.
Teresa Collins the City’s Special Events Coordinator is working on a children-friendly New Year’s Eve event in Grape Day. CCAE will have several events on their property during the holidays, but nothing in the park.
The Task Force is excited regarding the Amgen event in May, and hope to use Grape Day for a portion of the events.
Bernie Greer, the security director of CCAE reported that the problems with the Juggalos and other youths have diminished considerably in the past week. It is believed that the incarceration of Povio is likely the reason for the decrease. Greer did report that although the loitering, trash and damage to property by skateboarding etc. has declined dramatically, they still have experienced felt pen graffiti in the area by Valley Parkway and Escondido Blvd. They recently received a quote for video cameras for that area.
Greer also stated that the new uniforms for security officers has been ordered and should arrive shortly. In addition, they are looking to install amplified outdoor music which has been used successfully at Starbucks to minimize the loitering and create a more festive atmosphere.
Laura Cardona stated the Interfaith shelter is at full capacity. It was noted that the number of homeless in the park has decreased significantly due to Interfaith’s rule of persons in the shelter are not allowed to loiter in public areas specifically Grape Day.
Capt. Benton was the guest speaker at the Interfaith Holiday luncheon on December 18. The attendees represented most of the faith based groups in North San Diego County and some were responsible for providing food and clothing to persons at Grape Day. Interfaith explained their need for food and that by giving it to those at Grape Day, efforts were being duplicated and that many would not receive the services available at Interfaith. One attendee of the luncheon spoke up and stated that six months previously she was homeless living in Grape Day Park and did so because she was consistently given food and clothing by these groups. It wasn’t until she was forced to confront her alcoholism that she was brought to Interfaith and is now sober and employed. She explained that persons bringing food and clothing to Grape Day enabled many of the homeless and their behavior, including herself, and supported the message of Interfaith and the Task Force.
Capt. Benton and Laura Cardona also spoke to representatives of Emmanuel Faith Church who was conducting lunches monthly at the park. They have agreed to hold those events at their church and no longer use Grape Day or the Library as pick up points which had caused concerns at both locations with large groups of homeless waiting for the shuttle. They have agreed to use a sister church on 4th street to be the pickup point.
Members of the taskforce provided Laura Cardona locations of homeless persons who are currently sleeping in and around the focus area. She will be forwarding these contacts to Mental Health Systems Homeless Outreach program to make contact with these persons in an attempt to get them services and off the streets. Cardona will also be making person contact with a couple she knows who is sleeping near Woodward St. to get them shelter.
Classical Academy / Boys and Girls Club
Dana Moen, the principal of Classical academy stated that the gates at the CCAE continues to be a great addition for security. He again thanked EPD for the arrest of the sex offender who was loitering at Starbucks last week, leering at the students.
Chris Endis of the Boys and Girls Club, will have their landscape company remove and decrease much of the vegetation around their property. He reported no problems since the last meeting.
Signature Theater Complex
The music in the outdoor patio area of Starbucks continues to be a success. The patrons of the restaurants state they like the music and they have noticed a marked decrease in loitering by Juggalos and homeless on the patio and nearby alcoves. There were no reported problems at the theater or surrounding area of the Signature complex.
The next task force meeting will be on Tuesday, January 8, 2013.
- At the Unified Disaster Council meeting on December 13, a representative from the National Weather Service (NWS) provided a brief update on the predicted Winter weather. The current weather pattern is in a neutral condition; not El Nino or La Nina, so, the NWS is predicting normal rain fall during the Winter months and below rainfall in the Spring. The NWS is expecting the region to receive a total of 12”-14” of rain this season.
- CAL Fire is now in its’ Winter Preparedness mode in San Diego County. This means that there are 5 CAL Fire engines staffed with (3) persons (the Del Dios Station next to Station 5 has closed for the Winter), 10 County Fire Authority engines with (2) persons each, and 1 staffed fire dozer. The Ramona Airbase is now closed, although there is one County Helicopter and one San Diego City Helicopter available, each has water dropping capabilities.
- We received a pay off on a note held by Affirmed Housing for their affordable housing project “Terraces” on Morning View Drive. The funding was received on Friday, Dec. 4, in the amount of $1,957,939.50. These funds are originally from the federal HOME program and will be held by the City until future uses are identified. Future use discussion will be done through the regular budget process.
- The owner of the Vista Verde Mobilehome Park will be requesting a $700 per month increase and has notified its residents. As a result, Council may be contacted by concerned residents. Given the size of this request it will go through the “long-form” review process.