- The Post Office has informed us that a moratorium is in place indefinitely on “Post Office discontinuance actions.” This means that the plan to close the Escondido Boulevard Post Office in May is on hold. Post Office representatives also have provided a list of the current businesses that have been authorized to serve as “Village Post Offices” within the Escondido area. They are:
- Latinos Meat Market: 525 West Grand Ave, Escondido CA 92025
- Stitcher’s Treasures: 132 E. Grand Ave, Escondido CA 92025
- Centre City Cycles: 2065 S. Escondido Blvd, Escondido CA 92025
- All Season Market: 30012 Old Hwy 395, Escondido CA 92026
- A1 Liquor Super 7: 2250 South Escondido Blvd, Escondido CA 92025
- There will be a Cal South State Cup soccer tournament this weekend March 22nd and 23rd at Ryan Park. Cal South will have various different age divisions for both boys and girls; Boys under 14, under15, under 16, under 17, & under 18 and Girls under 14 & under 17. There will be 45 games played over the weekend with 45 teams. We can expect around 2,000 visitors in the Ryan Park area.
Cycling Camp San Diego will be hosting the “St. Paddy’s Palomar Punishment Bike Ride” benefitting the Escondido Humane Society. It will be held Saturday, March 22nd – first riders out on the course at 7a.m. The start and finish is at the Escondido Humane Society.
OPERATING BUDGET UPDATE
Operating budget preparation materials and direction were provided to departments in December. The Finance Division began meeting with departments in January to review and discuss each budget submission. As of mid-March, all operating budgets have been submitted and are being complied by budget staff for review by the City Manager. A budget briefing will be held at the April 23rd, 2014 Council meeting. During this meeting, Finance will provide a brief summary of the operating budget and take direction from the Council on preparing a new two year operating budget that will be considered for adoption at the public hearing on June 11, 2014. A preliminary operating budget document will be available on the City’s website prior to the public hearing.
UTILITY BILLING RATES
Effective March 1, 2014, water and wastewater utility billing rates have changed. An updated fee schedule can be found on the City’s website at http://www.escondido.org/finance.aspx.
As a reminder, outstanding bills are due 19 days from the bill date. If payment is not received before the close of business on the due date a 10% late fee is added to any outstanding balance. On the back of the customer’s bill, detailed information is provided on payments and charges, including reference to the applicable Municipal Code that governs how the City bills customers. Customers can pay their water bill at City Hall 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Monday through Friday. Online payments are also accepted at www.escondido.org.
PENSION REPORT FROM SAN DIEGO COUNTY TAXPAYERS ASSOCIATION
A new report by the San Diego County Taxpayers Association (SDCTA) shows 11 of 17 cities in San Diego County will see an increase in pension costs in the upcoming fiscal year. However, Escondido is not one of those cities and we will see an 11.38% decline in our pension costs. A copy of the report is available at: http://www.icontact-archive.com/17K_DekGuNyUGGS7LxXxHfw14M7HFe2Y?w=4
COUNTY BEAR VALLEY PROJECT – CITY WATER LINE RELOCATION UPDATE
Staff met with the County of San Diego and County Water Authority last week to resolve outstanding matters pertaining to the City’s water pipeline relocation, which the design for the County’s Bear Valley Project necessitates. The meeting was cooperative and the parties anticipate having signed plans by all parties and a signed Joint Use Agreement between the City and Water Authority for the City’s relocated pipeline within Water Authority right of way by end of this week. Since the SDG&E utility relocation plans are anticipated to be addressed separately with the bid contract, with these two issues now substantially resolved, the County anticipates it will be able to advertise the project within a couple of weeks.
COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT UPDATES
- Concordia Communities LLC submitted a request for initiation of an annexation for their proposed 550-unit specific plan on the 1,100 acre property referred to as Safari Highlands Ranch. Staff is reviewing for completeness.
- The County of San Diego has notified the proponents (ADJ Holdings) of the proposed recycling facility on Mesa Rock Road that an EIR will be required, and has given the applicants the option to withdraw the project, reduce the project description for further evaluation or process the EIR (see attached letter). Council had directed staff to monitor the status of this project.
- Major Projects Update:
- Oak Creek (NUW) – While preliminary review of the technical studies indicates that all environmental impacts can be mitigated (typically resulting in a mitigated negative declaration), NUW has submitted a written request to voluntarily prepare an EIR in response to recent correspondence from area residents. This will delay the public hearing schedule several months.
- Amanda Lane (NUW) – The application remains incomplete, awaiting the applicant’s revised submittals in response to LAFCO and staff review.
- Zak/NCA Development – After exploring a potential change to increase the number of units from 76 units to 82 units (changing three 3-bedroom units to 12 one-bedroom units with no increase in building size or additional parking), the applicant has decided to retain the 76-unit design. The project is scheduled for Planning Commission hearing on 4/22/14.
- Centerpointe – The EIR contract is scheduled for Council consideration on March 19th.
- North Broadway Deficiency Area Projects – The applicant’s submittal of traffic studies for the various projects is behind schedule, effectively delaying the completion of the environmental documents.
- The Building Division had a very busy week, issuing 69 permits, including 10 photovoltaic permits, for a total valuation of $1,536,416. The Building counter averaged 28 daily sign-ins. Inspections averaged 28 per day. Permits were issued for two single family dwellings on Deana Glen and for the Sonoma Court apartment rehabilitation at 508 E Mission Ave. Building has currently issued 535 permits so far this year compared with 470 at the same time last year.
- Business Licensing notified MuniServices that the Business License Tax Audit contract would be terminated at the end of the current contract (April 16th).
CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS
2013 - 2014 Pavement Repair and Rehabilitation Program:
The paving contractor is working on Mission Avenue between Fig Street and Broadway raising manholes and water valve cans. The striping contractor is completing the new striping this week which includes recently developed bike lanes.
Grape Street Public Improvement Project:
The street lights poles have been delivered and set in place; they will be activated in the next couple of weeks.
1146 East Valley Parkway- McDonald’s Restaurant:
The new water main syphon has been assembled and is under test. The timetable for installation will require the closure of the #2 west bound lane of Valley Parkway starting on Friday, March 28 through Friday, April 18. An electronic message board has been placed near Harding Avenue notifying of the lane closure. The construction of the storm drain for the project will begin this week along the CALTRANS controlled portion of the roadway. The work is being done between 8:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m..
Tract 888-Cambell Court:
The water line work is under test. The houses are in the framing stage of construction.
Lincoln Avenue & Escondido Boulevard Gas Main Testing Station:
The contractor has completed the backfill and placement of the first portion of the trench restoration. SDG&E was required to grind and repave the entire width of Lincoln Avenue due to the scope of work. This work will be done within two week’s
RedFlex Camera Removal:
The schedule for removal is not yet available from RedFlex.
7-11 Improvement at Washington Avenue:
The contractor has completed the permit process and will begin to construct a new driveway and underground utilities along the Washington Street portion of the project this week.
- Mike Loarie attended the Bike Walk meeting at the Mitchel Room on March 11 from 6 to 8 PM.
- City Traffic Engineer Abe Bandegan presented information to the group about the bike paths and background information associated with Escondido’s bike paths and roads.
- Seeking Council approval this Wednesday for additional grant funding:
- $10,000 for OT from the CA Office of Traffic Safety for the 2008 AVOID DUI Grant
- $7,778 for additional CARE Youth Program Grant Funds
- $50,000 for additional overtime for Stonegarden Grant Operations
- Annual PD awards ceremony will be held on Thursday, March 20 at CCAE in Salons 4 & 5 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
- Officer Andrew Wyse will be recognized on Thursday at a brunch by the Auto Theft Advisory Committee as our officer of the year
- The Escondido Police Department will once again be hosting a number of presentations for high school and middle school students as a portion of the San Diego Science Festival. These presentations are unique to the Science Festival as the Escondido Police Department is the only Law Enforcement Agency that provides these types of presentations. The presentation will expose students to the Crime Lab and Traffic Division and their dependence on math, physics, and scientific principles to complete investigations. The Crime Lab and Traffic Division will showcase the equipment utilized to gather data and conduct experiments used for investigations. Officers and laboratory technicians will explain how scientific principles are used daily to solve crimes and determine how traffic collisions occurred.
- Last week’s Boot Drive was very successful in Escondido and raised approximately $10,000