- The AMGEN Tour of California is now less than 2 weeks away and preparations are in full swing. 5,000 notices about road closures were mailed to all residents/businesses along the route. In addition, 6 electronic messages boards will be located throughout the city beginning next week to alert people about the event. Complete information about the event is available on our website: www.Amgen2013Escondido.com
- The Top Gun Softball tournament is scheduled for May 2 to May 5 at the adult softball fields in Kit Carson Park. There will be 16 teams and 48 games played over this four day period. They will be using three fields, Powell, Root, and Finney starting at 8:00 am each day. This is a Senior adult competitive tournament qualifier.
COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT UPDATES
- An application has been received for a modification to the Conditional Use Permit for the Meadowbrook Village Retirement Community, located at 100 Holland Glen. The modification proposes a new 3-story, 66-unit apartment building (28,031 SF per floor), with an underground parking garage; the project includes 50 two-bedroom units and 16 one-bedroom units. The applicant indicates the current facility is 90% full and that demand for units continues to be strong.
- Westfield is still negotiating with the potential restaurant tenant for the pad next to On the Border restaurant; no application has been submitted. In the interim, Westfield wants to move forward with site and utility improvements to prepare the pad in anticipation of a Precise Plan submittal. Staff’s ability to accommodate Westfield’s request is compromised by the lack of an approved plan that may affect site design, and by concerns expressed from On the Border regarding the parking layout. These issues will be addressed by the Planning Commission at such time as an application is received. Staff is also expediting review of exterior signage for the Cheesecake Factory restaurant.
CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS
Oak Hill Modular Site Improvements:
The landscaping has been completed along the Oak Hill frontage. The fencing contractor has installed the fence post along the right of way line. The pedestrian access to the existing building has begun but will need to be modified to accommodate the existing profile.
1341 Oak Hill Frontage Improvements:
The new retaining wall has been installed and given a coat of paint. The new concrete curb and gutter was poured on Wednesday as well.
Painting for the Traffic Signals and Parking lot Lighting:
The painting of the traffic signal poles is ongoing in the downtown corridor.
Construction of the building is ongoing. The installation of on-site storm drain continues.
Mission Avenue 69 kv Electrical Line:
The installation of the conduit package at the railroad crossing was completed last night. The contractor plans on pouring the concrete encasement later this week. The last of 13 vaults was installed at the Ash Street substation this week and the contractor should complete the conduit installation along the easterly end of the project Wednesday night. Only 700 feet of conduit installation is remaining to be installed at three locations along the route from the contract total of 17,988 feet. The SDG&E crews are on site splicing the conductors within the concrete vaults. To date, two vaults have been completed and signed off.
Adopt a Lot: Heritage Garden
The contractor has imported additional dirt to finish off the grading of the site.
Lincoln Avenue @ Midway Drive Gas Main Replacement and Testing Station:
The contractor has installed the temporary bypass piping along Lincoln Avenue and is attaching the cut off valves at the Midway Intersection. Once the pressure testing of the pipeline is complete, SDG&E will make the connections to the mainline on May 17 and 18 at three different points.
COMMUNITY CLEAN UP
- Arbor Day Celebration – Sixty one tree workers from thirteen companies and organizations gathered at Grape Day Park on Friday, April 26, as part of the scheduled Arbor Day Celebration. The work group completed the removal of five dead, dying, or diseased trees, 122 various trees were pruned, 14 trees were planted and 26 tree support stakes were removed. This effort represents approximately $30,000 worth of tree work donated to the City of Escondido. The health and appearance of the trees in the park have been greatly improved as a result of this work. Companies and organizations involved in this effort are as follows:
- Green Horizons Landscape and Maintenance - 4 workers and equipment
- Bishops Tree Service – 5 workers and equipment
- San Diego Safari Park – 1 worker and equipment
- California Tree Service – 3 workers and equipment
- West Coats Arborists – 4 workers and equipment
- Green Valley Landscape – 6 workers and equipment
- Terra Del Verde – 4 workers and equipment
- Tree Barber – 4 workers and equipment
- So Cal Landcare – 5 workers and equipment
- Holmes Landscape Company – 3 workers and equipment
- Walter Anderson Nursery – 1 worker and equipment
- U.C. Cooperative Extension – 1 worker and equipment
- Cornerstone Consulting – 1 worker and equipment
- City of Escondido – 12 maintenance technicians
- Center for Employment Opportunities – 6 workers
- Grangettos provided coffee and danish
- Center for the Performing Arts supplied mid-morning refreshments
The tree planting ceremony was sponsored, coordinated and assisted by:
- Lynnette Short with CalFire
- Katheryn Ramirez of Urban Core
- Chris Thompson of SDG&E
- Jim Thompson, Mike Reed and Woody Brinkly with the Professional Tree Care Association
- 12 from city of Escondido
The tree planting ceremony was attended by Mayor Abed, students of the Classical Academy, Don Anderson Preschool and children from the Boy’s and Girl’s Club along with many residents. Fourteen trees were planted in the arrival court area of the Center for the Arts. The trees were donated by the San Diego Urban Forest Council.
The representatives of the PTCA were very complimentary towards the City of Escondido for their organization and coordination of the event. They expressed a desire to return to the City of Escondido for next year’s Arbor Day Celebration.
- Helping Hands LDS Volunteer Group - The helping hands volunteer group provided a day of community service at Kit Carson Park and Grape Day Park on Saturday, April 27, 2013. The group was 720 members strong and 450 people were in service at Kit Carson Park while another 270 were tasked at Grape Day Park.
At Kit Carson Park the 450 volunteers collected trash and debris throughout the entire park, cleaned the arundo (bamboo-like invasive plant) and trash around Sand Lake filling three bins for disposal, cleaned the debris and removed trash along the entire length of the creek and raked and disposed of leaf litter throughout the park.
At Grape Day Park the 270 volunteers planted numerous plants throughout the park, removed leaf litter in the park and around the Center for the Arts, cleaned the Woodward Parking Lot of pine needles, tree litter, and trash.
This gift of community service is greatly appreciated and is an incredible help in the cleaning and maintenance of these two parks.
New CA law, AB341, requires that all business with four or more cubic yards of trash service per week (and all multi-family with five units or more) establish recycling service with their waste hauler or prove that they are participating in a voluntary recycling program. The City is required to contact all businesses that are subject to this requirement. In working with EDI, we have determined that approximately 381 commercial accounts are currently subject to this requirement and do not currently have recycling service with EDI. A letter will be sent to these accounts (EDI will mail the letters along with service information) with a requirement that they contact EDI to establish service or prove they are participating in an eligible alternative program – by May 31, 2013. All cities have mailed or are mailing this same letter with minor changes to customize for the individual cities.
- On Saturday, April 27, the PD was one of several sites offering Prescription Drug Take-back Day. This is held by the DEA. More information and pictures of the event are on the Police Department Facebook page.
- On Thursday, April 25 Active Shooter Training for Administration at Charter School was conducted by Sgt. Al Owens. He was the lead presenter at Charter on what to expect if the school had a person on campus with a gun and either shooting or threatening to shoot people. They discussed how to manage the students and the class, how to evacuate, what to expect, and how to lock-down the school and class. Sgt. Owens debriefed the staff on incidents that have happened at schools all around the country. He used Virginia Tech as one example. Other topics included readiness plans, first aid, and what to expect from officers when they respond to this type of call. The staff enjoyed the training and appreciated the material. Sgt. Owens is discussing additional training with the schools and they were open to it.
- The PD Facebook page continues to grow with more likes. As of today, we are at 672 likes- roughly double of what it was at this time last year. Earlier this week, a group of team members at the PD came together to talk about ideas on how to boost the likes. Lisa Rodelo, Jared Sinclair, and Neal Griffin are exploring ways to make this happen. We have not set an official goal as to how many likes we want to achieve; however, at this rate we could get to the 1000 range by the end of the year. After hearing their ideas, I believe this is an attainable goal for us and we look forward seeing results. I will keep you posted, and you can visit our FB and see what we are doing.
- 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 665 extra patrols in the park, 121 field interviews, 73 citations and 68 arrests.
Last week’s Arbor Day clean up and lacing of trees will allow more visibility through the park for officers who conduct the extra patrols and existing surveillance cameras. It will also allow us to assess the best locations and sight lines for installation of new cameras.
Many city departments are in the final preparations of Grape Day Park and surrounding areas for Amgen. This includes waiting for the arrival of the new benches and tables for Grape Day Park as well as new trashcans donated by Westfield mall. Two new “porta-potties” have been installed adjacent to the south side of the Grape Day bathrooms. The existing bathrooms have already been repainted, cleaned and secured for use during special events only including Amgen. The new playground equipment is still in the selection phase and hope to move forward after Amgen is completed.
Signature Pavilion – Since the security officers moved their start time to 11 am. no reports of problems have been reported regarding the Juggalos who had been causing problems.
Center for the Arts/ History Center/ Classical Academy/ Boys and Girls Club/ Children’s Museum: no incidents to report.
The next Task Force Meeting will be Tuesday, May 14.
- The Fire Department sent two brush engines out early this morning to the Summit Fire in Banning. The engines are assigned to two different strike teams, one State OES and the other North Zone. We will be fully staffed at shift change which occurs at 8:00 AM.
- Ten new paramedics started with the department on Monday, April 29. As the previous group did, they will spend their first week in an EMS Orientation Academy and begin a Paramedic Mentor Program. Each of the paramedics will be assigned to a Firefighter Paramedic for their training.