Good news from Standard & Poor's Ratings Services! They have raised the long-term rating and underlying rating (SPUR) to 'AA-' from 'A+' on Escondido’s existing general obligation (GO) bonds. At the same time, they raised the long-term ratings to 'A+' from 'A' on the Escondido Joint Powers Financing Authority's lease revenue bonds, supported by Escondido, and on the city's existing appropriation debt. Standard and Poor’s does not anticipate a ratings change during the outlook’s two-year period due to the expectation that Escondido will likely maintain what they consider to be very strong reserves.
Some elements that were used in the Standard and Poor’s analysis include: Escondido’s economy, stable population, strong budgetary flexibility with good reserves, as well as strong liquidity, management conditions and good financial management practices. A copy of their report has been placed on the City’s website at https://www.escondido.org/Data/Sites/1/media/pdfs/Finance/City_of_Escondido_Report.pdf
Ratings Detail as of August 26, 2014:
Ratings Detail (As Of August 26, 2014)
Escondido General Obligation bonds (Election of 2004) series A dated 08/22/2006
Unenhanced Rating AA-(SPUR)/Stable Upgraded
Escondido (muni golf course project (Vineyard) taxable certificates of participation series 1993
Long Term Rating A+/Stable Upgraded
Escondido Joint Powers Financing Authority, California, Escondido, California
lease revenue refunding bonds, Series 2013A
Long Term Rating A+/Stable Upgraded
Escondido Joint Powers Financing Authority (Escondido) 2007A lease revenue refunding bonds (1995 Refunding)
Unenhanced Rating A+(SPUR)/Stable Upgraded
Escondido Joint Powers Financing Authority (Escondido) 2007 B taxable lease refunding bonds (1995 Refunding)
Unenhanced Rating A+(SPUR)/Stable Upgraded
What do the letter ratings mean?
The general meaning of Standard and Poor’s credit rating opinions are summarized below:
‘AAA’—Extremely strong capacity to meet financial commitments. Highest Rating.
‘AA’—Very strong capacity to meet financial commitments.
‘A’—Strong capacity to meet financial commitments, but somewhat susceptible to adverse economic conditions and changes in circumstances.
‘BBB’—Adequate capacity to meet financial commitments, but more subject to adverse economic conditions.
‘BBB-‘—Considered lowest investment grade by market participants.
‘BB+’—Considered highest speculative grade by market participants.
‘BB’—Less vulnerable in the near-term but faces major ongoing uncertainties to adverse business, financial and economic conditions.
‘B’—More vulnerable to adverse business, financial and economic conditions but currently has the capacity to meet financial commitments.
‘CCC’—Currently vulnerable and dependent on favorable business, financial and economic conditions to meet financial commitments.
‘CC’—Currently highly vulnerable.
‘C’—Currently highly vulnerable obligations and other defined circumstances.
‘D’—Payment default on financial commitments.
Note: Ratings from ‘AA’ to ‘CCC’ may be modified by the addition of a plus (+) or minus (-) sign to show relative standing within the major rating categories.
- The Downtown Business Association has notified the City that they have successfully transferred ownership of the Tuesday Farmer’s Market to the Escondido Arts Partnership. The same market manager will continue to run the market, so it will be a seamless transition for vendors and customers.
- Visit Escondido is advertising in various publications now including the San Diego Visitors Guide, the California Visitors Guide and Phoenix Magazine. Ads previously placed in Sunset Magazine were discontinued since they didn’t generate as much interest/contacts as the ads in the other publications. We are partnering with the San Diego Tourism Authority in their special section in the Phoenix magazine which they do twice a year to promote San Diego. Escondido is the only North County tourism entity to partner with them.
No special events are scheduled for this weekend.
DALEY RANCH UPDATE
- Each year, after the nesting season is over, the City of Escondido clears brush and prunes trees around the ranch house and other structure on Daley Ranch as part of its preparations for fire season. In addition, vegetation along the main roads is cleared back fifteen feet to ensure swift and safe access by the Escondido Fire Department and Cal Fire crews and equipment. These preventative measures are anticipated to begin during mid-September. Joyce Masterson will serve as the point of contact for any inquiries about this work.
- Beginning on October 12, City Rangers will begin offering monthly tours of the Daley Ranch House. The tours will be held the 2nd Sunday of each month, from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Rangers will lead the tours/presentations, with volunteers from the Friends of Daley Ranch assisting. The tour will be limited to the first floor of the Ranch House because of ADA issues and we are not providing any shuttle service to the Ranch House due to the cost. Signage about the monthly tour is being developed for posting at the entrance gate, as well as a news release and other information on our social media sites.
- We are awaiting an estimate on the cost to purchase a pre-fabricated restroom that will be customized to resemble the existing architecture of the Ranch House. More information will be provided to Council after the information has been received and evaluated.
Thanks to the efforts of many people in the Finance, Information Systems, Community Development and Public Works Departments, we are pleased to announce the successful launch of the TRAKit cashiering effort on Thursday, August 21st. As part of our continuing effort to improve customer service, customers doing business with the Community Development and Public Works – Engineering Departments are now able to complete their financial transactions at the front counter where they are conducting business, rather than paying at the Utility Billing counter. Transactions include the ability to accept cash, check, credit and debit card payments. We hope that our customers will appreciate the convenience as our staff and customers become more familiar with the new program. The service and associated financial responsibilities are being provided by our existing Community Development and Engineering staff.
- A Precise Planned Development application has been submitted for a proposed 37,114 SF Class A office building on the vacant property at 300 La Terraza Blvd.
- A Conditional Use Permit application has been submitted by Diego Hills Public Charter, Inc. for a proposed resource center for an independent charter school located at 888 W. Valley Parkway. The center would serve up to 200 students enrolled in an independent studies program for Grades 9-12.
- Major Projects Update:
- Oak Creek (NUW) – The public review period for the Draft EIR is underway, with comments due on 9/29/14. The document is posted on the City’s website at the following link: http://www.escondido.org/Data/Sites/1/media/pdfs/Planning/oakcreek/CD/INDEX_-_Report_Navigatoin.pdf. In response to requests from community members, a neighborhood meeting has been tentatively scheduled for Monday evening, 9/22/14, in the City Council Chambers to discuss the project and the findings of the Draft EIR.
- Amanda Lane (NUW) – The applicant submitted revised plans responding to staff comments; the revisions are under review. The revised plans propose internal streets that deviate from road design standards and include some street redesign to avoid the need for some offsite improvements. The applicant continues to negotiate the necessary letters of permission and easements for other offsite improvements, to avoid potential condemnation issues. The project will likely be affected by the Rincon del Diablo MWD Level 2 Drought Alert which suspends consideration of water availability certifications for all commercial and residential projects of more than one home.
- Centerpointe 78 Commercial: – Staff continues to coordinate with the applicant’s traffic consultant regarding the traffic impacts and mitigation measures in order to finalize the traffic study for inclusion in the Draft EIR.
- North Broadway Deficiency Area Projects: – The Pickering annexation is tentatively scheduled for City Council hearing on 9-10-14. The application for the Zenner annexation and the associated 40-unit subdivision at Vista Ave. and Lehner Ave. remains incomplete, pending submittal of letters of permission for offsite improvements, to avoid condemnation issues.
- San Diego Veterans Village: The applicant is evaluating potential revisions to address the HPC comments regarding the proposed demolition of several historic adobe structures and to address Fire Department concerns.
- The Building Department had busy week, issuing 39 permits for the week with a total valuation of $501,786. Inspections and counter contacts were steady with average daily inspections of 34 with 33 on Friday and average daily counter contacts of 38 with 30 on Friday.
- 11 Photovoltaic permits were issued last week, with 420 so far this year.
- A demolition permit has been issued for the former La Salsa restaurant at 1290 Auto Park Way to make way for the new Chick-fil-A restaurant.
PUBLIC WORKS UPDATE
Capital Improvement Projects:
2013/2014 Street Maintenance Project:
This week the contractor is working in the neighborhood bordering on Bear Valley Parkway between Citrus Avenue and East Valley Parkway.
Maple Street Pedestrian Plaza Modifications:
The project bid opening is scheduled for Thursday, August 28. The project consists of the modification of the water fountain to control system water from leaving the water feature area; repair and replacement of 180 damaged paver tiles within the plaza; and the modification of the 4 pedestrian ramps located at Grand Avenue and Valley Parkway. All work is under warranty at no cost to the City.
Lincoln Avenue @ Goldenrod Street 16” Gas Main Inspection:
SDG&E has permits to start excavation of a launch pit on Goldenrod Street on Monday August 11. The work will require a day time closure of Goldenrod Street between Lincoln Avenue and Iris Lane. The contractor has encountered an abandoned water main which is being addressed.
Rincon del Diablo Recycled Water Main Extension:
Construction of a 3300’ section of 4” recycled water main began on Monday July 7 along Gary Lane at Nutmeg Street in the Country Club area. The project will be completed on Thursday August 27th.
County Project: Bear Valley Parkway Widening between Boyle Avenue and San Pasqual Valley Road:
The preconstruction meeting was held on Monday, August 18th 2014. The project includes replacing water mains, gas mains, roadway widening to 4 lanes with landscape medians, two Traffic Signals along with storm drain along the 0.9 mile route. The project has 540 construction days from the Notice to Proceed date. Groundbreaking ceremony was held on Wednesday, August 27th.
Public Works Operations:
The following activities took place last week:
- 31 street lights were repaired and made operational citywide.
- 8 Traffic signals were repaired and maintained.
- Precautionary signs in the "panhandle area" of Kit Carson Park were installed in concrete footings as a deterrent to continued vandalism we have been experiencing.
- Repairs we made to the "Snake" in Kit Carson Park which is located in the vicinity of the Maintenance Building.
- SEI Graffiti Coating application training has been completed. Staff will now apply coating to high incident city owned areas.
- Paint and Sign Crews fabricated 6 signs, repaired or replaced 20 signs and removed vegetation blocking visibility of 5 signs.
- The Debris Crew eliminated one transient camp and removed over 5 cubic yards of debris.
- 107 pothole repairs were completed citywide.
- The pavement repairs have been completed at the intersection of 13th & Redwood in the crosswalks. The concrete cross gutter will need replacement at some time in the future as they are nonstandard and in poor condition. The repair work would cost approximately $50,000. Funding will need to be allocated for this work in a future year's budget.
- 15 cubic yards of debris was removed from the right-of-way at various locations across the City.
- A 4” mainline leak was repaired at Ryan Park as well as a 2” mainline repair at Las Palmas and El Norte Parkway by the city craftsmen.
- The Police Department hosted another successful blood drive on last week.
- Grape Day Park Task Force:
The Police Department continues its enforcement details as call volume allows, up to several times a day in the Grape Day Park and surrounding areas. Since the start of the increased focus, the Police Department has conducted 2285 extra patrols in the park, 295 field interviews, 135 citations and 149 arrests.
The Bike Team Officers, Adan Martinez and Russ Whitaker, continue to focus their efforts in the downtown area including Grape Day Park, Maple Plaza and Signature Pavilion. They are assisted by Patrol Officers and especially our two Community Policing Officers; Lee Stewart and Lew Shaver. Sergeant Jared Sinclair is assisting in the coordination of the COPPS efforts of these and Patrol Officers to combat behavior and issues that may be illegal/ undesirable. There were no significant arrests or calls for service noted during this month. Several drunk in public arrests, a few warrants, and possession of a controlled substance arrests were made during this rating period. There were two arrests for auto theft from the Park, resulting in the recovery of a stolen vehicle. There were no significant calls for service around the Grape Day Park, Maple St. Plaza, or Signature Pavilion footprint.
Please refer to http://www.grapedaypark.org/ for special event information in the Park. For a list of all upcoming Escondido Events, visit: http://visitescondido.com/event-calendar/.
Sunday, July 27, there was an 11 hour memorial service’ that was approved through Community Services. No significant issues arose, although we located a man who was causing a disturbance, and identified him as the subject who followed a female customer service employee from City Hall earlier last month. Although the incident did not contain the elements for a prosecutable crime, we are now monitoring his activity closely. As of today’s date, officers have encountered him at least three more times, and he’s been uncooperative and arrested twice.
The next Task Force Meeting will be on a date to be determined.
Ongoing statistics, as of 8/25/14:
Foot Patrols 2,285
All personnel who were out of the area assisting with fires in northern California have now returned back to Escondido.