June 19, 2013

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06/20/13

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT 

  • Katherine Zimmer will begin her employment with the City of Escondido  as our new Tourism and Marketing  Administrator on Monday, July 1, 2013. Rather than renting space at the Chamber of Commerce building, we will be locating the “Visit Escondido” office at the small Police Storefront on Grand Avenue. This site provides  high visibility to visitors to the downtown area, particularly during Cruisin’ Grand events.  We will share this space with Police  Personnel who primarily use the office during the evening as well as during special downtown events. We intend to seek student interns majoring in tourism to assist with walk-in traffic. We will be doing some freshening of the storefront and hope to have that work done by the end of July.  The Chamber of Commerce has indicated it will continue to offer visitor materials at their office.
  • Local sales tax cash  receipts for the third quarter of fiscal year 2012/13 increased by 2.7%  compared to the prior year third quarter.  This equates to an  increase in sales tax of about $429,000 for this quarter. 
  • Upcoming Sporting Events:
    • This weekend we have an exciting event at Ryan Park that will include 120 soccer teams.  Approximately 4,500 visitors and locals will be in town for the event.  Teams from all over Southern California will be using all 8 fields at Ryan Park.  The out of town teams are staying in local hotels in  Escondido and Rancho Bernardo.  There will be teams from the Under 9  Divisions all the way up to Under 18 Division.
    • June 25th – 30th    – Veterans Cup soccer tournament  Ryan Park
    • June 27th – 30th    – 29th Annual Freedom Tournament (Youth Softball) Kit Carson  Park. There will be close to 100 teams from all over Southern California,  mostly San Diego County.

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT UPDATES

Planning:

  • SANDAG  held a community workshop in the Mitchell Room on June 13th, as  part of their public outreach program in the North County Inland area for the update to the regional plan known as San Diego Forward – The Regional  Plan. Discussion topics included Economic Prosperity, Mobility, Healthy Environment, Public Health Energy and Climate Change. An estimated twenty people (in addition to staff) attended the workshop.
  • The SANDAG Draft Series 13 Subregional Growth Forecast has been released (see attached). The figures include 2010 census data and forecasts for population, housing and jobs up to 2050. The estimates reflect existing city limits and do not include potential annexations.
  • Staff has completed consultant interviews for preparation of the El Caballo Master Plan and will be notifying the participants in the coming days of the consultant selection. The next step is to have the consultant prepare a scope of work.

Housing:

Staff has been notified that the City will receive an increased allocation for HOME funds (approximately $33,000 increase), bringing the total allocation to $439,350. This will increase the reserves available for future projects.

Building Division :

Building issued 43 permits for the week with a total valuation of $1,053,132, including issuance of permits for reconstructing the Spires Restaurant at 1215 E. Valley Pkwy.

Code Enforcement:

Staff has developed a strategy for the phased enforcement of the feather flag ordinance which expires on June 22nd. Notification of the change will be posted on the website, and code enforcement flyers will deliver courtesy notices to businesses using the flags to advise them of the change. A grace period has been established, allowing the flags to be displayed until September 1st, at which time enforcement will begin.

 

CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS

Oak Hill Frontage Improvements:

With the completion of the final fencing item, this project will be finalized and a Notice of Completion issued.

Private Development

Wal-Mart:

The paving contractor has completed the off-site improvement of Pennsylvania Avenue between Ash Street and the project entrance. The improvement along the Ash Street frontage was started this past week and the contractor has completed the installation of the concrete median. With the installation of the concrete median, local businesses located along Ash Street notified the City that the design would affect the traffic movement from north bound Ash Street to Pennsylvania Avenue. City staff has responded by contacting the developer as well as the Cal-Trans representative requesting that further concrete pours be halted until an alternate design, which City staff has provided can be reviewed.

Mission Avenue 69 kv Electrical Line:

The contractor is working on the final punch list items this week.

Lincoln Avenue @ Midway Drive Gas Main Replacement and Testing Station:

The double shut down was completed this past weekend without incident. The contractor will now start on the restoration of the roadway surface.

Cox Communication Downtown System Upgrade: Phase 1,2 and 3

Phase 1 is working on Juniper Street between Grand Avenue and Pennsylvania Avenue. Phase 3 is working in the alley between Broadway and Maple Street and between Grand Avenue and Valley Parkway.    

 

PUBLIC SAFETY 

Police:

  • As you know, several  months ago, I brought in Joe De Laudrantey, President of JCD & Associates, to provide an objective organization review of the Police Department and to develop a strategic plan for the department.  He has completed his work and a hard  copy of his report review will be provided to you shortly.
  • Welcome to two new police officers:  Richard Bellamy, lateral from San Bernardino Police Department and Thomas Pugh, lateral from Cal State University San Marcos Police Department (also a former cadet from EPD).
  • The abduction case where a Florida man met took an Escondido teen to Florida was successfully resolved.  PD intercepted the flight and with the assistance of Tampa Bay PD, arrested the suspect and recovered the teen.  There has been a lot of media coverage in both California and Florida. 
  • The Escondido Police Officer’s Association and Escondido Police Department Women’s Group sponsored and hosted a BBQ picnic for members of the organization at Calvin Christian School last Saturday.
  • 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 724 extra patrols in the park, 132 field interviews, 73 citations and 73 arrests. The most significant recent arrest was by the bike team who arrested a heroin dealer at Signature Plaza for sales.  Officers are working to determine if this is the same individual who was attempting to sell narcotics to Classical Academy students. 

A few officers are testing a new phone application to view the Grape Day and Maple Plaza videos. The application will allow officers to        view the video from a nearby location in an effort to catch vandals and graffiti offenders at the location. 

CCAE- reported no vandalism or graffiti for the past two weeks. No updates from CCAE/ History Center/ or Signature Plaza. 

 Keith Callison and his group continue the clean-up efforts on the bike path and Grand Avenue and other areas they come across.  

The next Task Force Meeting will be Tuesday July 16th, 2013

Fire

  • This is a very important  week for the Fire Department. The second group of Non-Safety Paramedics will complete their field training this Thursday, June 21. On Friday, June 22nd at 8:00 a.m. the Fire Department will put in service six  paramedic ambulances. Four “Medic Ambulances” will be staffed with  Non-Safety Paramedics and two “Rescue Ambulances” will be staffed with Firefighter Paramedics. At 8:00 PM ambulance staffing will decrease to two  “Medic Ambulances” and two “Rescue Ambulances”. The new EMS Program, that Council approved back in November, will now be fully implemented. The next phase will be to fill vacancies and hire the three new Firefighter Paramedics that were also approved by Council.
  • As part of placing the 7th  Fire Engine into service and a retiring Battalion Chief, we are pleased to  announce three Fire Captains promotions and one Battalion Chief promotion.   Gary Correiar is being promoted to Battalion Chief on “C” Division. Kevin Beverly, Chris Duralde, and Jeff Sargis are being promoted to Fire  Captains, each new Fire Captain will be assigned to a different  division; A, B, and C.
  • Chief Lowry will be on vacation from June 23 through July 7. In his absence, Division Chief Russ  Knowles will be serving as Acting Fire Chief.

 

COMMUNITY SERVICES UPDATE

  • As recently reported, Redwood Terrace’s Out & About senior transportation program lost its funding. This program was funded with      assorted grants (including some CDBG monies years ago).  Staff is trying to schedule a meeting for  mid-July with Kurt Norden Redwood’s administrator for this program, to try to find a resolution to this issue for the good of the community.  

Currently there are other options for seniors such as: the taxi voucher program for older adults which is funded from the non-profit Senior Service Council – Escondido (SSCE). This service takes people to medical appointments and to the pharmacies.  The cost for this is up to $7 per round-trip.  Another transportation program called FACT (Full Access Coordinated Transportation) which offers low cost transportation for seniors at a cost of $4 up to eight-mile radius.  This is a county-wide service that is also offered in Escondido.  

The City’s Older Adult Services department still has a Monday through Friday program, which is funded with CDBG, General Funds and the Joslyn Trust.  This service transports seniors from home to the Park Avenue Community Center only.  This is one of the two components of the Senior Nutrition Program collaboration with Redwood that is on the June 26 Council Agenda.

  • Tennis Courts: Amy received three bids to complete 100% of the  work, including resurfacing, repair, and windscreens for 10 courts; all      three of which exceed $50k ($55k to $82K).  It does appear that four courts were repaired in 2010. Since those repairs were three-years ago and with the high-use, extreme weather and drainage problems, all the courts  need varying degrees of repair.  The recent bids addressed the most  needed repairs first. Therefore, the plan is to complete the project in  phases with the highest priority needs to be fixed first.