January 16, 2013

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01/17/13

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

  • Progress is being made in soliciting sponsorships for the AMGEN Tour of California . To date we have pledges for $81,000. The breakdown is as follows:
    • Dave and Rebecca Vigil - $50,000
    • GNI - $20,000 (VIP Hospitality Tent)
    • Bike Bling - $5,000 (Kalmia Level)
    • Trek - $5,000 (Kalmia Level)
    • Flexr Sports - $1,000 (Juniper Level)
  • In a recent article by the LA Times (http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-calpers-return-20130115,0,5255546.story) CalPERS gained more than 13% in investment returns last year, most of it from stocks and real estate. It was the best year for the California Public Employees' Retirement System since 2006, when the fund gained 15.7%. CalPERS investments were up 1.1% in 2011 as it struggled to regain its footing after the Great Recession. 
  • We had submitted our CEDS to the EDA for approval in October. After several back and forth calls and e-mails with them checking on our approval status over the last couple of months, it appears that there’s been a mix-up. Apparently, they mixed up our CEDS and the San Diego North EDC’s CEDS, and thought that ours was an ‘earlier draft’ of the SDNEDC’s CEDS (I guess the SDNEDC sent him numerous ‘drafts’ to review over a couple of months, and since their CEDS included Escondido the EDA got confused).They’ve since gotten it sorted out and have reviewed the City of Escondido’s CEDS. We have been notified me that it looks good except for two things need to be revised to meet new requirements: 1.) the unemployment data needs to be revised; and 2.) the census tract data needs to be revised.  We have contacted Natalson-Dale Group to have them update the information so we can re-submit.
  • Katherine Zimmer of “Visit Escondido” is developing a website page dedicated to all of the 2013 sports tournaments being held in Escondido.  In addition to promoting the events to the general public, having such a website will make it easier for local motels, restaurants and other businesses to become aware of the events and coordinate with tournament organizers, boosting the local economy.

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT UPDATES

Code Enforcement:

An annual report of Code Enforcement and Business license statistics for 2011 compared to 2012 is attached. Code Enforcement workload activity has remained constant despite turnover and vacancies within the division. Business license activity has increased slightly, with 9,393 new/renewing businesses in 2011 compared with 9,408 new/renewing businesses in 2012. Business license revenue has increased by $43,968.

CAPITAL PROJECTS

Benton Burn Site Remediation:

Work is ongoing for site restoration. City staff members are working closely with affected residences to ensure a constant flow of information regarding the schedule and completion of the project.

Dos Cabazos Retaining Wall Project:

The contractor has requested a one week delay in the project start up. The new Notice to Proceed date is January 29, 2013.

2011-2012 Pavement Management Project:

The paving contractor started and finished design work on Grand Avenue and Escondido Boulevard. The striping subcontractor is continuing to apply finish product this week.

Mission Avenue SDG&E 69KV Electrical Line:

Work is ongoing with Crew One proceeding east bound on Mission Avenue in front of Post Office #1. Crew Two is pot holing utility conflicts in the Broadway/Mission Avenue intersection in an attempt to find a clean path of travel for the conduit package. The minimum depth at this time is 12 feet to the top of conduit to clear the storm drain in this area. The SDG&E crew is pouring a 6’ X 18’ deep foundation this week for the last steel pole foundation at the Ash Street substation.

Wal-Mart:

The Grading Permit was issued last week and the contractor has mobilized and is actively processing material for construction of the building pad. The offsite underground contractor is finishing up on the construction of the water main replacement crossing Ash Street (SR-78).

Broadway & 8th Avenue:

There is no activity to report on-site. Slope stabilization is in place along with K rail placed to add protection to the right-of-way.

PUBLIC SAFETY

Police:

Grape Day Task Force Update 

Enforcement Efforts

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 255 extra patrols in the park.  63 field interviews, 55 citations and made 33 arrests.  According to Park Rangers, they have noted  the problem persons and criminal activity has been non-existent, and continue to see an increase in use of the park by families, particularly at the playground structure.  The bathrooms have also been reported to problem free, and they also noted that the food delivery to the homeless at the park has disappeared.  

Police officers continue their enforcement efforts in the park but focusing more on the CCAE, Signature Theater Complex and Maple Plaza.  Patrol officers did make two arrests recently near City Hall after CCAE security officers called regarding a suspicious person.  One arrest was for lewd conduct in public, and the other was for a felony warrant. 

The CCAE reports that overall the problems they were encountering have disappeared. However they have noticed recently an increase in graffiti in the Rose Garden area, but has been able to combat it with the help of Public Works. 

The Police and Interfaith have improved their communication regarding homeless in need of various services as well as those who are in violation of the shelter's rules.  

Classical Academy/ Boys and Girls Club/ Children’s Museum reported no problems.

The outside music in the Starbucks patio continues to play 24-7 and continues to be effective.  Eddie Goldberg, the property manager, is still experiencing sleepers on occasion on the stairs that lead to the second story above Starbucks.  He is getting more quotes on gates to eliminate the problem.  

Special Events

The New Year's Eve event in the park was uneventful and problem free.    

The next task force meeting will be on Tuesday, January 29.  

Fire:

  • The Fire Department and Human Resources continue to move forward with the hiring process of the non-safety paramedics. 74 of the original 190 applicants passed the written test and were invited to the assessment center last week which included; an oral interview, medical emergency simulation, and physical abilities test which simulated responding to a patient on the third floor, loading a patient on a backboard to the gurney and into an ambulance. The top 20 candidates have been invited to a Chiefs Interview which will occur on Thursday, January 17. It is our desire to hire the first (12) non-safety paramedics and have them begin the EMS Academy on February 25. This will allow them to complete their training and mentorship by April 18, and then staff the Medic Ambulances beginning April 19. That will allow us to move the FF/PM’s from 1398 and staff our seventh fire engine at Station 6 on April 19. After the first twelve non-safety paramedics complete their training we will hire the next twelve, thus allowing us to increase our ambulance transport capabilities as approved.
  • The fire department responded to two significant fires this past week. The first fire occurred on Friday, January 11, in a single family home on Roosevelt Street. The first fire engine arrived five minutes after the dispatch to find fire showing from three sides of the home, and posing an immediate threat to an adjacent home. The residents of the fire home were able to escape from the home without injury. The home where the fire began was a total loss. The Red Cross assisted the family displaced by the fire. One firefighter suffered a serious injury to his ankle and was transported to Palomar Hospital.
  • The second fire occurred on Monday morning in the Sushi Nori restaurant in the Major Market shopping center. Engine 1315 from Station 5 responded to a report of smoke in the area of Major Market. An Escondido Police Officer arrived and reported a fire in the restaurant. A full structure response was dispatched. The Escondido Fire units were able to contain the blaze in the restaurant (1835 S. Centre City Parkway, Suite C) within eight minutes after 1315 arrived on scene. Adjacent commercial units suffered some smoke damage, but were able to remain open for business. The damage to the restaurant is estimated to be $20,000.00 for the building and another $50,000.00 for the contents. There were no civilian or firefighter injuries.