December 4, 2013

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12/04/13

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

  • The California Tourism Board is promoting “California Restaurant Month” in January with 34 cities statewide participating. Escondido will be participating in it for the first time by launching "Dine Out Escondido!"   Our Visit Escondido office is spearheading "Dine Out Escondido!" and has had an overwhelming first-time response of 22 restaurant taking part in it. Locals and visitors can enjoy the diverse culinary flavors of Escondido during the month of January by taking advantage of this opportunity to visit their favorite restaurants and experience new ones. Each restaurant is providing a special offer to celebrate “Dine Out Escondido!” For a the complete list of participating restaurants, please go to www.VisitEscondido.com
  • On Thursday, December 5 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Peter Grimm Hat Company (based in San Marcos) will be doing various photo shoots around the City including: Lake Dixon, Daley Ranch House, Grape Day Park and Downtown.
  • This weekend, December 7 and 8, Ryan Park will be hosting the Commissioners Cup Soccer Tournament.  They will be using 6 fields with 52 teams and 87 games played.  Games will run from 8:00a.m. to 5:00 p.m. each day.  The tournament will bring in families for both boys and girls division’s from under 10 to under 19.  We can expect around 2,000 to 2,500 players and spectators in Ryan Park.  Most of the teams are from the greater San Diego area. 
  • The start date for Escondido Event’s Saturday Market on Kalmia Street has been pushed back. They expect to have the market up and running on the first Saturday of February.

SPECIAL EVENTS

Our Lady of Guadalupe Procession (Prosecion Guadalupana)
Saturday, December 7, 2013, 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Parishioners of Resurrection Catholic Church and St. Mary’s Catholic Church will gather in Grape Day Park and then process to St. Mary’s Church. They will be closing the streets along the route and expect a crowd of potentially 2,000 people in the procession. This is the first event of this kind in the city.

Annual Holiday Tree Lighting & Winter Wonderland
Saturday, December 7, 2013
3-8 p.m. California Center for the Arts, Escondido
This annual event has become a Center favorite and a holiday tradition for families in North County and beyond. Kick off the Holiday with the lighting of the tree, art activities, costumed entertainers, special visit with the man from up North, and a playground filled with real snow!  For more information visit www.artcenter.org

Escondido Jaycees 63rd Annual Christmas Parade
Saturday, December 14, 2013
9:30 a.m. Broadway (Between Escondido High and Grape Day Park)
This beloved Escondido tradition attracts tens of thousands of spectators each year from everywhere in San Diego County. This year’s theme is “Christmas across the Galaxy.”

TOUR OF LAKE WOHLFORD

The US Congress is beginning its process to name projects for funding via the 2013 Water Resources Development Act (WRDA).  The Utilities Department has arranged through our lobbyist, Packard Government Affairs, for staff from Senator Boxer’s Office to visit the Wohlford Dam.  This visit is scheduled for early December.  WRDA funding could further reduce the City’s cost for the Wohlford Dam replacement project.  WRDA funding is administered by the Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE).  Our primary source of funding so far is funding through the California Department of Water Resources (DWR).  While Utilities staff  members are hopeful of receiving WRDA funding, there could be challenges to accepting WRDA funding. Given the strict timeline for completion set by the DWR funds, we will need to insure that ACOE disbursement and approval procedures will not delay the project beyond the point allowed by the DWR funding.

UPDATE ON THE MISSION POOLS DRAINAGE CHANNEL

The project relates to an unnamed tributary to Escondido Creek which has suffered from delayed maintenance.  The tributary, which surfaces at the 700 block of West 3rd Avenue, is composed of three open channels connected by two culverts before it connects to Escondido Creek.  The upstream section of the project area is located by the “Mission Pools” property, hence the name of the project.

Grading variances and sediment deposits within the tributary have created drainage problems to the point that segments of tributary remain chronically wet.  Maintenance of a culvert with a 90 degree bend, with no access points from the right-of way has also provided challenges. 

This tributary is considered a “water of the US,” therefore permits are required from resource agencies to remove plants, deploy equipment and machinery into the channel, and to ensure that any potential discharges of sediment are prevented.  Mitigation is required to offset the impact of removing areas considered habitat in the channel.  This has already been addressed through a project in Kit Carson Park.

This project could not be included in the Regional General Permit application for channel maintenance as the acreage impacted exceeded the threshold allowed in the permit for a single site.  Sections of the tributary are located on land owned by the North County Transit District (NCTD).  The City has an easement for utilities maintenance, but there may be other constraints on how the work can be done due to property ownership and utilities locations.

The City of Escondido has been awarded a vector control grant for the project, as standing water in the channel can provide habitat for mosquitoes to breed.  The project will include:  baseline biological studies for CEQA and permit applications; research of utilities, as-builts and easements to determine engineering opportunities and constraints; hydraulic analysis of the channel; 30 percent completion of an engineering design for the maintenance and improvement of the channel; presentation of options to improve the channel to prevent future drainage problems. 

Based on the outcome of this project further work can be completed as funds allow.  This would include the preparation of permit applications for maintenance; selection of options for the improvement of the channel and 100 percent design and construction.  The City will apply for a vector control grant to support future work.   

This is the first time that an engineering study has been conducted of the Mission Pool drainage channel.

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT UPDATES

Planning:

Planning Commissioner Darol Caster has recently moved to a new residence outside the General Plan boundary and will no longer be able to serve on the commission.

Public Art:

The contract outlining repairs for the Queen Califia Magical Circle sculpture garden has been submitted by the Niki Charitable Art Foundation. Work is expected to commence within the next 30 days.

Building:

The Monthly Building Activity report for November is attached.

CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS

2013 - 2014 Pavement Repair and Rehabilitation Program:

The Notice to Proceed was issued for December 9  and the contractor will have 80 working days to complete the project. Staff is marking out limits of work for concrete removal. The city tree crew is set to remove 8 street trees that have caused damage to the public and private improvements.

Grape Street Public Improvement Project:

The contractor is onsite potholing utility conflicts and preparing for additional water service replacements. 22 new services have completed to date and the contractor is scheduled to perform 5 more service taps on December 5.   

Escondido Creek Trail Lighting:

The contractor has 12 bike path light poles remaining to be installed along the north side of the channel between Juniper Street and Broadway. He will be working on 3 service points and pull box installation this week.

Traffic Signal Construction:

The City was notified that it had been selected to receive over $600,000 in federal funds to build two signals on the City’s adopted traffic signal priority list. The Highway Safety Improvement Program funds will be used to construct a signal at El Norte Parkway and Fig Street and at East Valley Parkway and Date Street. The federal funds will pay for 90% of the construction costs of these high priority signals. The city survey crew will begin to gather field information for the design of the signal at Fig Street and El Norte Parkway.

Private Development

Contempo Townhomes-Tract 921:

The offsite water main connection will begin on December 4 along Pine Street. The remaining onsite water main connections will be completed on December 4.

Stone Brewery Traffic Signal:

The electric meter pedestal has been set for the new traffic signal. The service request for setting the SDG&E electric meter was made last week. All new traffic signal poles have been set in place. The signal is set to be activated on December 17.

Lincoln Avenue & Escondido Boulevard Gas Main Testing Station:

The SDG&E contractor is on site doing field installation work this week.

Cox Communication- Auto Parkway between Andreasen Drive and Citracado Parkway:

A preconstruction meeting was held on November 26 to discuss the project limits of work. The first day of construction is December 3, 2013. The project consists of installing 4,000 feet of conduit along Auto Parkway.  This permit should be complete in 50 working days. 

PUBLIC SAFETY

Police:

  • The Police Department’s 2014-2020 Strategic Business Plan has been completed and will be presented to the City Council after the first of the year.
  • Retired Officer Roger Konczal passed away last week.  His memorial service will be held on December 12, 2013  at 11:00 a.m. at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery. 
  • The Children’s Christmas Party will be December 3 at Tavern Bowl from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.  Santa will be showing up in the Tactical Operations Unit Armored Vehicle.
  • Grape Day Task Force:
    The Police Department continues its enforcement details several times a day in the park and surrounding areas. Since the start of the increased focus, the police department has conducted 1160 extra patrols in the park, 188 field interviews, 94 citations and 97 arrests. The Bike Team Officers, Adan Martinez and Russ Whitaker, continue to focus their efforts in the downtown area including Grape Day Park, Maple Plaza and Signature Pavilion, along with our two Community Policing Officers Bill Havens and Lew Shaver. There were no significant arrests reported.  There were no special events noted since the last update. There were no significant crimes reported during this week by CCAE or City Hall. The Boys and Girls Club and the SD Children’s Museum did not report any problems this week. 
  • The homeless shelter opened up December 1, 2013. The Task Force is already in communication with Sobering Services (NCIC) at 550 W. Washington Avenue in order to help facilitate proactive use of the facilities/programs available to the homeless in our community and minimize impact at Grape Day Park and surrounding areas.