ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Sales Tax Revenue

Sales tax revenue received through March 31, 2012 increased from the previous fiscal year during the same time frame by about $3.3 million or 13.5%.  For sales occurring in the third quarter of fiscal year 2011/12 (the most recent data available), the City saw sales tax receipts increase with gains in every economic category.  The City’s largest economic category, transportation, experienced an increase in sales tax of 23.9% over calendar year third quarter 2011 due primarily to an increase in the level of spending related to new & used auto sales.  In addition, nationwide retail sales in the 1st three months of 2012 increased by 6.5% versus a year earlier according to the U. S. Census Bureau. 

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT UPDATES

Planning

  • The Planning Commission unanimously recommended approval of the proposed Zoning Code amendments regarding parking. The amendments would allow parking requirements for commercial and industrial properties to be reduced by up to 25% via an administrative adjustment process upon consideration of certain factors. This process is already available through the BEZ process, and is intended to allow business expansion and new businesses with higher parking requirements (such as restaurants) to locate in existing centers. Council will consider the amendments on September 12th.
  • George Weir has requested BEZ expedited processing for the proposed modification to Escondido Asphalt, to allow an increase in the annual production capacity of the plant; if authorized by the subcommittee, the modification would go directly to the City Council. The applicant has submitted traffic and noise studies and is preparing an air quality study.
  • Staff is working with Wal-Mart and their engineers on several agreements and improvement plans pertaining to the construction of the Harding signal, the waterline and reciprocal parking. The waterline improvement plans are nearly complete; once approved and bonded, the grading plan can be completed. Building plans are under review but cannot be issued until the grading plan is approved. A reciprocal parking agreement between Wal-Mart and the shopping center is also required prior to issuance of the building permit.

Building

Permits have been issued to demolish 3 separate buildings at Westfield mall in the vicinity of the duck pond area, to allow for future parking lot improvements.

CAPITAL PROJECTS

Maple Street Pedestrian Plaza

The project is nearing completion. The furniture, trellis and planter bench construction is complete. The permanent electrical meter will be set this week with the electrician completing the final touches to the lighting system. The traffic signal contractor is scheduled to paint the safety poles this Saturday.

2011/2012 Pavement Maintenance Project

There is no asphalt paving scheduled for this week. The City held a preconstruction meeting this past week with the paving subcontractor performing the Cap and Slurry Seal portion of the project.  The tentative start date for this portion of the project is mid-September with completion within 7 weeks.

Main Library Fiber Optic Project

The City Attorney's Office reviewed and approved the contract documents.  The preconstruction meeting was held today. Construction is scheduled to start on Tuesday, September 4th pending execution of the contract documents.

Fire Station #4

Subcontractors are starting to install the building's exterior surface. The concrete work and paving work will be substantially complete early next week. There was approximately 60 linear feet of curb to be replaced which set back the paving operation slightly.  The project is on schedule and within budget at this time.

Private Development:  Westfield Mall parking lot

The night time operation continues this week for the onsite pavement restoration project.

Westfield Mall demolition permit

The permit process has been completed with inspection of the erosion control devices being made by the Field Engineering Inspector this week in preparation of the removal of the existing structures.

Talk of the Town

Construction activity is ongoing

El Norte Parkway / Broadway Apartments

The offsite improvements were completed this past week along the El Norte frontage in advance of the students return to school.

Rincon del Diablo waterline replacement

New water mains for their potable and reclaimed system are being constructed on Citracado Parkway between Valley Parkway and Avenida del Diablo.  Road/lane closures are in effect during day light hours along this corridor.

Del Lago Academy

The new high school is starting the off-site improvements. The sewer main construction along Valley Parkway will be completed this week. The next phase of construction is the improvement located along Citracado Parkway

ENGINEERING AWARD

The Engineering Department has learned that the Escondido Rapid Bus project has been awarded the WTS Innovative Transportation Solutions Award (ITSA) for Transit & Roadway Projects (Small-Scale). WTS is the largest professional transportation association in the country dedicated to advancing women in transportation. We have more than 4,000 members from 42 chapters in America, Canada and the United Kingdom.

PUBLIC SAFETY

Police

Blood Drive

The Escondido Police Department will be hosting a Blood Drive in the Community room of the Police Department Headquarters on Thursday, September 6th,  from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm.  Anyone wanting to participate and make a donation, can access the online appointment calendar for this event located at www.redcrossblood.org and use the sponsor code: EPD.

Explorer/Cadet BBQ

On Saturday, August 18th, a BBQ was held at police headquarters by the Police Explorer Program thanking sponsors for their continued support over the past year.  The event was also an opportunity for program members to say thanks to their families.  It was a good turn out and fun was had by all.

Peace March

This coming Saturday, August 25, 2012, the Escondido Police Department joins, Victory Outreach Church, Resurrection Church, other local churches and community members and residents in a Peace March that will be held in Escondido.

The Peace Walk is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. in the parking lot of Victory Outreach Church located at 1131 East Washington Avenue in Escondido and conclude at Resurrection Church located at 1445 Conway Drive.  Resurrection Church will be hosting their annual festival at the same location.  Police Department Traffic Officers will escort marchers along the entire march route North on Ash Street to El Norte Parkway and then East to Conway Drive.  Transportation will be provided at Resurrection Church to take marchers back to the Victory Outreach parking lot. Join us in sending a message to gang members and other criminals that criminal conduct is not welcome in Escondido!

Fire

As reported last week, our OES brush engine with a crew of four is assisting in Kern County.  That crew will return home  on Thursday, August 23 and a new crew will be sent to replace them.

COMMUNITY SERVICES

Library Receives Two Grants

  • The Escondido Public Library Youth Services Division was awarded a $1,500 Rotary grant from the Rotary Club of Escondido . The grant money will be used to purchase  2 iPad tablets to  support early literacy services offered by the Library and promote the development of early literacy skills in preschool children.  The iPads will be  used during community outreach events, such as story times and visits to preschools as well as  in a small group setting with a parent, teacher, tutor or caregiver and children. 
  • The Escondido Public  Library was recently awarded 25 Chromebook laptops  from the California State Library .  The library intends to let patrons borrow the laptops within the library . The  laptops are lightweight, easy to use and  almost entirely based on cloud-based applications.  The Chromebooks will be available after staff training and lending policies are put into place.