Escondido Residents to Participate in Statewide Tree Planting Event

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Joyce Masterson, 760-839-4621

Over 120 Escondido residents have volunteered to plant 315 trees in Escondido on October 23, 2010, as part of a statewide effort by United Voices for Healthier Communities to plant 3,300 trees at 100 locations in California. Under the supervision of professional arborists, volunteers will plant 182 trees at Kit Carson Park and 133 on Centre City Parkway. 

The volunteers working on Centre City Parkway will check-in at the Police and Fire Headquarters parking lot at 1163 N. Centre City Parkway between 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. After a brief welcome by Mayor Pro Tem Dick Daniels, they will begin planting trees at 8:30. Volunteers planting trees at Kit Carson Park will check in at the Mary Lane entrance to the park beginning at 7:30 a.m. Mayor Lori Holt Pfeiler will welcome them at 8:45 a.m. and planting will begin at 9:00 a.m.

Following the tree plantings, a “Healthy CommuniTrees Expo” will be held to increase awareness about the benefits of trees. It will be a part of the City of Escondido’s Health and Safety Expo for the “Families on Foot Run Walk” which also will be held on October 23 at Kit Carson Park, 3333 Bear Valley Parkway, from 8:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

Funding for the project, including the trees, comes from the California ReLeaf America Recovery & Reinvestment Grant Program through the USDA Forest Service. United Voices for Healthier Communities partners include the California Urban Forests Council, Western Chapter International Society of Arboriculture, Tree Fresno, Urban Corps of San Diego County, City of Lompoc, San Diego Regional Urban Forests Council, Central Coast Regional Urban Forests Council and San Joaquin Valley Urban Forests Council.

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Environmental Impacts of Proposed Ballpark Available for Review

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Barbara Redlitz, 760-839-4546

The City of Escondido has released a Mitigated Negative Declaration (MND) evaluating the environmental impacts of the proposed Triple-A Minor League Ballpark project. A copy of the document may be found on the City’s Web site

A hard copy is also available at the public counter of the Planning Department at City Hall, 201 N. Broadway, and at the Escondido Public Library, 239 S. Kalmia Street. The public review period for the MND is from October 19 through November 8, 2010. Written public comments will be accepted until 5:30 p.m. on Monday, November 8, 2010 and should be submitted to the Escondido Planning Division, 201 North Broadway, Escondido, CA 92025. A City Council public hearing on the MND and the related Development and Disposition Agreement addressing financing for the proposed ballpark is anticipated in late November.

The MND is a preliminary finding that there will be no significant environmental effects from the project because of specific mitigation measures related to biological resources, cultural resources/paleontology, geology/soils, hazards and hazardous materials, noise, and transportation/traffic.

The ballpark is proposed on 15.3 acres comprised of land owned by the City of Escondido, NCTD, and a private plumbing business, generally located north of Norlak Avenue and south of W. Washington Avenue, on either side of N. Spruce Street. The proposed 244,240 gross square foot (gsf) ballpark would provide seating for 9,000 persons, with up to 331 parking spaces onsite. The relocated NCTD bus storage facility and up to an additional 884 parking spaces may be located on the City’s western public works yard on the south side of W. Washington Avenue.

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Rebroadcast of Escondido Candidates Forum

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Joyce Masterson, 760-839-4621

The City of Escondido will rebroadcast the recent City Council and Mayoral candidates’ debates sponsored by the Escondido Chamber of Commerce on Escondido’s government access channel, Channel 19. The City Council debate will be aired on Sunday afternoons at 4:00 p.m. now through October 31, 2010.  The Mayoral debate will  be aired on Monday afternoons at 4:30 p.m. through November 1, 2010.  Both debates also are available for viewing on the City’s General Municipal Election page.

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Lake Wohlford Offers New Fishing Program

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Sue Evarts, Volunteer Coordinator, 760-839-4241 or 760-855-6316

Lake Wohlford has just started a new program to help children and adults become better at catching fish. Volunteers from the Escondido Senior Anglers will provide informational classes on the Basics of Fishing. The first class will begin at 9:00 a.m. on September 18 and will include topics on casting, what is the right equipment to have and how to use it. This program will begin in the picnic area at Lake Wohlford and move to the water for practice. The classes are free of charge and you need not necessarily have your own fishing gear. If you have freshwater equipment, please bring it along so you can learn the specifics of each item (please, no salt water tackle). Call 760-839-4241 and leave your name and phone number to register.

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Statewide Tree Planting Event Slated for October 23

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Joyce Masterson, 760-839-4621

United Voices for Healthier Communities, a coalition of tree-related organizations, will be planting 3,300 trees at 100 locations in California, including 315 trees in Escondido, on October 23, 2010 in order to help clean the air and create healthier communities. Volunteers interested in planting trees in Escondido may sign up by contacting Jan McLean at 760-839-4628.

In addition, a “Healthy CommuniTrees Expo” will be held to increase awareness about the benefits of trees.  It will be a part of the City of Escondido’s  Health and Safety Expo for the “Families on Foot Run Walk” to be held on the same day at Kit Carson Park, 3333  Bear Valley Parkway,  from 8:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. 

Under the supervision of professional arborists, volunteers will plant 142 trees at Kit Carson Park, 133 on Centre City Parkway, and 40 in the Sonata housing development beginning at 8:30 a.m.     

Funding for the project comes from the California ReLeaf America Recovery & Reinvestment Grant Program through the USDA Forest Service.  United Voices for Healthier Communities partners include the California Urban Forests Council, Western Chapter International Society of Arboriculture, Tree Fresno, Urban Corps of San Diego County, City of Lompoc, San Diego Regional Urban Forests Council, Central Coast Regional Urban Forests Council and San Joaquin Valley Urban Forests Council.

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Escondido to Lose $8.5 Million from State Raid on Redevelopment Fund

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Joyce Masterson, 760-839-4621

The City of Escondido, along with other redevelopment agencies throughout San Diego County, will be forced to turn over $8.5 million as required payment resulting from the State’s decision to raid $2.05 billion in local redevelopment funds as part of the 2009-10 State Budget. The payments will be made in accordance with a ruling by Sacramento Superior Court Judge Lloyd Connelly last week which instructed local redevelopment agencies to abide by the provisions of ABX4-26 passed last year as part of the state budget.

City Manager Clay Phillips criticized the ruling saying, “We planned to use our redevelopment monies to fund much needed projects in Escondido that would have created jobs, improved our city, and stimulated our local economy. This is yet another example of the State shifting the burden to cities instead of taking responsibility for their own obligations.”

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Dedication of the Escondido Police and Fire Headquarters

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Joyce Masterson, 760-839-4621

A Dedication Ceremony for the newly constructed Escondido Police and Fire Headquarters, located at 1163 N. Centre City Parkway, will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 1, 2010. The event is free and open to the public.

The ceremony will take place outdoors at the front entrance to the building in the cul-de-sac. As a result, the public parking lot entrance at Centre City Parkway and Decatur will be closed to traffic. Motorists will be directed to use the south entrance to the public parking lot which is near the community garden.

The ceremony will include an inaugural flag raising ceremony by the Escondido Police and Fire Department Honor Guards, the North San Diego County Firefighters Pipes and Drums, comments by Mayor Lori Holt Pfeiler, Police Chief Jim Maher, and Fire Chief Mike Lowry, and a ceremonial ribbon cutting. Following the ceremony tours of the building and various displays will be available until 1:00 p.m.

The new Police and Fire Headquarters will open for business on Monday, May 24, 2010.

In November 2004, voters approved Proposition P, an $84.3 million General Obligation Bond for the construction of a new joint Police and Fire Headquarters, as well as the construction of two new neighborhood fire stations (Stations 6 and 7), the relocation of Fire Station 3, and the construction of a replacement Fire Station 1. Construction of all four fire stations is complete and all are now in operation.

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Service Enhancements for Escondido Water Customers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Kelly Spire, 760-839-4605

In response to customer feedback, the City of Escondido has implemented two changes to its water billing process. First, instead of all 26,000 customers receiving their bills on the first of every month, they now will be divided evenly into 4 billing cycles. As a result, customers will receive their bills closer to the date on which their meter was read allowing them to identify water leaks more quickly and better manage water usage. Prior to this, it was not unusual for a customer to receive a bill for water used two months prior to the bill date.

The second change allows water customers to view their water bill online by accessing the Utility Billing page. To protect customer privacy, customers will need their account number to access the image. In addition to that, customers will have the option to have their bill images removed from the website, if they so desire. This feature will be helpful to customers who call to say they have not received their bill or have misplaced it. It will give them the ability to access it from home, rather than waiting for a duplicate to be mailed to them or coming to City Hall to get it.

During this transition some customers who have already received their new bills have been concerned about the amount of their bill or mistakenly think they will be receiving four bills a month. The increase in the amount of the January bill is due to the change in bill dates, a rate increase to water service and wastewater effective January 1st, 2010 as well as additional days of water use billing. The February bills will resume to the typical 30 day billing period for all the services, except water use.

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