Welcome to 2019 in Indio. All of us at City Hall wish you a Happy New Year. We are looking forward, in fact to a great year.
So what can you expect in your City in 2019? Just to list a few:
—At long last the reconstruction of Highway 111 is essentially complete. We have some minor elements left to to do, but the traffic delays will soon be a thing of the past. When the County completes the new Detention Facility, we can move on to upgrade the section of Hwy 111 from Rubidoux to the east.
—Our repaving of local streets continues at a very aggressive pace, thanks largely to our voter approved Measure X funding.
—We will be moving forward with design for 3 important, long overdue Public Safety projects — a Police Headquarters Station, a renovated or brand new Fire HQ Station, and much needed Computer-Aided Dispatch and Records Management Systems. These are also Measure X projects. These substantial upgrades will make the public and our emergency responders safer, will let us be much more efficient, will help us avoid unnecessary litigation, and will help us hire and retain key staff.
— We can expect continued great public education leadership from the Desert Sands and Coachella Valley School Districts and from the College of the Desert. COD’s Indio campus is a big success, so they will be constructing a second classroom building in Downtown Indio.
—The Desert Recreation District is finalizing plans to redevelop Pawley Pool and the adjacent park. Stay tuned, as this is an exciting project!
—As covered in previous newsletters, we will be asking the City Council to adopt a new Indio General Plan and Downtown Specific Plan. Without repeating what I have said in other recent newsletters, suffice it to say these represent major policy documents that serve as roadmaps for future community development initiatives. These Plans take a 20 year focus. The public hearings on these two documents will occur in the first half of 2019.
—We continue to be blessed by investor interest in Indio real estate — residential, retail, restaurant, hospitality, industrial, medical and civic/community development. We have two new hotels, a 12-screen Maya Cinema, El Super grocery store and several retail businesses opening this year. We appreciate those who recognize that Indio is an emerging market with a very deserving citizenry.
—The City of Festivals continues to attract top caliber events which support Indio financially and our reputation. The on-going support of our neighborhoods is key to that success. We remain committed to those partnerships.
—We have noteworthy opportunities and upgrades occurring at established retail centers including The Palms, Regency Centers and the new Indio Grand Marketpalce (formerly Indio Fashion Mall.)
—And finally, I want to remind you that we have just converted to district Council elections. Our newly seated Council will be addressing a very busy City agenda. Those of us on staff are looking forward to working with Mayor Lupe Ramos Amith, Mayor Pro Tem Glenn Miller, continuing Councilmember Elaine Holmes and new Councilmembers Waymond Fermon and Oscar Ortiz. Councilmembers are elected by District, but each of them represents the entire City.
We hope you will be mindful of your City government this next year. We need to hear from our public. Send me an email. I write my own columns and I respond personally to my emails.