Letter from the Director: Terry Hagen, P.E. / City Engineer
Retail and commercial continued to grow at a slower pace in El Centro last year. Although new housing starts have virtually stopped, apartments continued to be developed and constructed. New businesses that opened or were remodeled in 2009, in which building plans and site plans were processed through our Building and Safety Division and Engineering Division include: EW Corporation, Lucky's Chinese Food, IV Screen and Awning, Tropicana Restaurant, Chase Bank, Decor & More, Dollar Tree, Mexicali Chicken and Salads, The Big Swirl, Assembly of God Church, Home Therapies, Home Depot, Barcelona Event Center, Dr. Parks Dental Office, Winfield Apartments, Imperial Gardens Family Apartments.
Other projects currently under construction or in plan check include: Ballington Academy Charter School, Honda Car Dealership, El Centro Family Apartments, Hyundai Car Dealership, University of Phoenix, City of El Centro Fire Station #3, Senior Center Addition, IID Power Generation Unit #3, Proposed Charter School (old Sears Building)
The Public Works Staff have been actively involved in preparing documentation and applying for over $28 million dollars in stimulus funds and to date $2.8 million has been funded to the City of El Centro.
Again in 2009, "Black Friday" (the day after Thanksgiving), which creates the highest traffic volume at the Mall, occurred without police intervention or implementation of a traffic management plan to reduce traffic backup at the Dogwood Interchange off-ramps. The Dogwood and I-8 Interim Improvement Project "Signalization and Off-Ramp Widening" for $2,000,000 is designed and construction will start early next year.
Other street projects completed and constructed were El Dorado Colonia Phase III for $1.4 million, Dogwood Rehabitation from State Street to Commercial Avenue for $500,000, and the 2009 Overlay Project for $2.1 million was completed which included reconstruction of Broadway Avenue using Prop 1B Funds. Transportation related projects that are in the "pipe-line" include: Rehabilitation and Overlay of the Eastside of Imperial Avenue from Orange Avenue to Adams Avenue - Approximate Project Cost is $612,000, Paving of walking/jogging paths inside Bucklin Park - Approximate Project Cost is $242,000, Dogwood Avenue Rehabilitation from State Street to I-8 - Approximate Project Cost is $2.4 million, 2010 Overlay Project - Approximate Project Cost is $13 million, Sunflower Parking Lot with APCD Funds - Approximate Project Cost is $120,000, Demolotion and Rough Grading of Adams Avenue Plunge - Approximate Project Cost is $200,000, Lotus Avenue Street Sidwalks and Overlay Project funded with SR2S Grant Funds - Approximate Project Cost is $300,000, El Dorado Colonia Phase IV - Approximate Project Cost is $800,000, Adams Avenue Overlay - Approximately Project Cost is $400,000, New Transfer Terminal at 7th Street and State Street - Approximate Project Cost is $3 million, Waterman Avenue Extension - Approximate Project Cost is $1.7 million, Police Station Site Security and Parking Upgrade - Approximate Project Cost is $640,000.
The Master Plan for the Water, Sewer, and Storm Drain Systems is complete and being prepared for Council review and approval. This plan has provided needed documentation in the form of GIS drawings, GPS location data, and index books (like a Thomas Guide Book) for field crews to find service lines and valves during emergencies. These index books are currently available for review at the Engineering Counter located at City Hall. Cpaacity Impact Fee studies are also being performed.
Numerous water wastewater bond projects were designed and construction of the $30 million Water Treatment Plant is now 100% complete and has been placed into operation. The design of the Southern Pump Station is complete, which will serve future development south of the I-8 Freeway and reduce th enumber of small inefficient pump station stations currently serving the existing development. the contract fo rthe water distribution system fo rth eannexed West Main residential development is almost near completion and Residents are beginning to hook up to City water.
To further improve safety for our children, we installed 15 MPH zone signs around all schools within El Centro, as allowed by the latest 2009 Caliofrnia Vehicle Code.
With the additional projects resulting from stimulus funds and other grant funds, along with the water/wastewater bond funds, Public Works Staff has taken on additional project management and administration responsibilities over and above their daily routine jobs. They should be recognized for the additional work that they have performed and will face during the next year to come.