This has been another amazing year for the City of Santa Clarita with accomplishments throughout our City.
In the area of business, Santa Clarita was named the 2016 “Most Business Friendly City in Los Angeles County,” by the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation. Other business achievements this year include progress with the Old Town Newhall project to add a Laemmle Theatre, 47 residential units, over 22,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space and a 374-stall parking structure; a 100 percent tenant occupancy in the Business Incubator, plus increases in job growth.
Good financial stewardship for 2016 includes an increase to 20 percent for our reserve fund; a AAA credit rating by Standard & Poor’s; a 100 percent track record for an on-time and balanced budget; plus several awards for excellent financial management from state and national organizations.
Public Safety continues to be a strong focus area for our City and this year, we worked to address issues related to unsafe driving with our traffic safety plan, “Drive Focus Live.” We are continuing our successful in-school anti-drug program, “Drug Free Youth in Town,” which has gained membership. In the area of future planning, we are working with the County of Los Angeles to build a new and larger Sheriff’s station in the City which will be located on City-owned property on Golden Valley Road.
Building and creating community is a top priority for our City and this year, we completed the construction of the Golden Valley Road Bridge, dedicating it to City co-founder and community advocate Connie Worden-Roberts. The new Marketplace Park has been completed (dedication will commence December 15 at 11 a.m.), located adjacent to Bridgeport Marketplace and Real Life Church. We are starting design for the new Canyon Country Community Center which will be located at Sierra Highway and Soledad Canyon Road on a 6.5 acre site purchased by the City.
Sustaining public infrastructure to assure our community is well maintained is very important and this year, we made great strides. More than 105 city streets and more than 38 lane miles were improved, including Soledad Canyon Road from Sierra Highway to Camp Plenty Road. We repaired 95,000 square feet of sidewalks and added 80 access ramps as part of our annual sidewalk repair program. A new alternative fuel station was constructed at the Bridgeport Marketplace and a second one will be added to the Santa Clarita Metrolink Station.
Community beautification is definitely an area where our residents have told us the importance of this work. This year, we completed the median beautification project along Valencia Boulevard, removing grass and upgrading the irrigation system for the low water use plants. On Sierra Highway, new pavers, irrigation and landscaping were completed. This year we removed over 11,350 graffiti tags and completed 177 beautification projects ranging from painting wash channels, freeway underpasses to paseo bridges.
The City acquired more open space, bringing our total number of preserved acres of land to over 9,000. New areas added this year include 75 acres in Tapia Canyon; 12 acres in Soledad Canyon and nine acres in Wildwood Canyon. (Visit www.hikesantaclarita.com for more details on where all the open space is located and how you can use it).
We continue to work with outside agencies to prevent the siting of a mega mining project in Soledad Canyon and to ensure that any alignment proposed by the California High Speed Rail project does not impact our community.
Some other fun facts you may find interesting about our work this year includes: hosting 102,743 youth sports participants, 4,645 Camp Clarita day campers; 76,367 adult sports participants and 218,848 visitors to the City’s aquatics facilities. We accommodated 60 children in our inclusion services programs and provided 157 youths with scholarships for participation in programs through the SCORE (Santa Clarita’s Opportunity for a Recreational Experience) program. The City’s Resident Service Center processed over 19,000 requests with a 90 percent customer rating for good or superior service.
I want to personally thank our community for their support of our City. Santa Clarita continues to be a top municipality in California and an amazing place to call home. Should you wish to contact me directly, please email me at: [email protected].