How do you build a better city? It starts with strong leadership and includes a dedicated city team. Our local economy stumbled and has taken flight again. It’s as inevitable as the cycle of life. But, since the Great Recession, this City has really flown. Last month’s newsletter focused on many of the local projects currently underway. This month, the discussion includes where the City stands financially: the elements that lay the foundation for what is important to all of us – a healthy and sustainable city government; and highlights a few projects helping the City stay active and progressive.
Sustainability is often dictated by a city’s finances. After several years of targeted financial accomplishments, the City of Indio is in a sound financial position. Budgeting is the core of local government finance and in late June, the City Council adopted a robust $144 million-dollar budget for fiscal year 2017-18. The City’s general fund budget, which covers the costs of those government services we are most accustomed to like police, fire, and code enforcement, total $70 million. The budget is balanced and reflects the City Council’s policies and priorities, which should be in line with the priorities of the residents. The budget incorporates improvements to infrastructure and enhancements in city-service levels. In addition to the budget, the City Council continues to keep the City’s future in mind and has set aside a full 15% of annual general-fund operations in reserve funds for that inevitable rainy day. A full budget report is available for review on the City’s website, indio.org. City residents should have peace of mind knowing their tax dollars are being spent in a fiscally responsible and fully transparent manner.
Beyond the finances, the City is focused on the quality of life for its residents. You may have observed the fencing up around Miles Avenue Park. The park is receiving significant upgrades, including a new parking lot with forty-six regular parking spaces and four handicap parking spaces, a new meandering sidewalk around the perimeter of the annex area, three new gazebos for picnic areas, and four new sport-field lights. These are just a few of the upgrades that will make this major park at the heart of our city more user friendly and functional for the whole community.
The Indio Public Library will also be getting some needed attention in the coming months. While we look forward to a new library project, the County of Riverside will be working to make our current library more appealing to guests. Included in the planned remodeling is new carpet, replacing select furniture pieces, and painting the interior of the facility. The overall goal of the project will be to offer residents a more comfortable and welcoming environment to study, learn and relax.
The City continues to push ahead with their Better Neighborhoods Program (BNP). This program is funded with the Community Development Block Grant Funds. The BNP is focused on reconstructing portions of Miles Avenue, Santa Rosa Avenue, San Jacinto Avenue, Tahquitz Avenue, Valencia Avenue, Hoover Avenue, and Sun Gold Street. Service agreements are being worked on to design and implement the needed street improvement projects associated with this scope of work.
The Indio City Council is working to create public spaces that encourage healthy and active lifestyles and this is just another sampling of the many infrastructure and public space investments the city is making to improve the quality of life for its citizens. Whether it’s a trip to the park for a Sunday picnic, or a visit to the library for story time, the space we occupy together often helps define our view of the city we live in.