The clock struck midnight, the crystal ball descended over Times Square and just like that, another year has come and gone. However, as we flip our calendars from 2019 to 2020, we have renewed excitement at the opportunities awaiting us all with the start of a new decade in Santa Clarita.
We have much to be proud of as a community as we enter the next chapter. In 2019, a number of infrastructure projects were completed that directly benefit residents and increase the quality of life in Santa Clarita. It seems like a long time ago, but last year saw the completion of the Newhall Ranch Road Bridge Widening Project, which has helped enhance traffic flow and reduce collisions.
Additionally, those living near Sierra Highway and Golden Valley Road have a new pedestrian bridge that makes crossing that busy intersection much safer, which is especially important for those Golden Valley High School students who walk to and from school each day. EV charging stations have been installed at various locations throughout Santa Clarita, allowing for those with electric vehicles to recharge quickly and conveniently.
As we move forward into 2020, there are several landmark projects in the works. The new sheriff’s station on Golden Valley Road will provide much-needed space and state-of-the-art equipment for our local sheriff’s deputies. Construction on the new Canyon Country Community Center continues at the corner of Soledad Canyon Road and Sierra Highway. Soon the community center building itself will take shape.
In Old Town Newhall, the highly anticipated Newhall Crossings project is expected to open to the public and will bring new shops and eateries, entertainment and housing options. In addition to the wonderful art, theater and dining opportunities in the area, residents will also have the ability to watch independent, foreign and art-house cinema when the new Laemmle Theatre opens on the corner of Lyons Avenue and Railroad Avenue.
The city will start the new year off with an exciting community event at Canyon Country Park on Saturday, Jan. 25, at 10 a.m. I invite you to bring your family, friends and neighbors to join the City Council as we celebrate the opening of the new inclusive play area, which is the first of its kind in Santa Clarita.
The inclusive play area is truly a community-wide effort to bring opportunities for learning, fun and social interaction to those of all ages and abilities. Through public meetings and direct conversations with parents, children and other stakeholders, the inclusive play area features the design and playground amenities that will best serve all who visit.
These are just a few of the major developments happening in Santa Clarita as we kick off 2020. These projects would not be possible, however, without the support of the community and the proper management of resources by city staff.
The city of Santa Clarita has delivered an on-time and balanced budget each year since our establishment in 1987, and I am proud to say the city remains on solid financial ground. Your City Council has put a strong emphasis on intelligent budgeting, which is evident in a recent report by the California State Auditor announcing that Santa Clarita ranked in the top 5% of fiscally healthy cities in the state. Santa Clarita received a low-risk designation, indicating strong fiscal health, and received perfect scores from the California State Auditor when measuring liquidity, general fund reserves, and both pension and other post-employment benefits (OPEB) obligations. The analysis compared the fiscal health of 470 California cities.
It is safe to say that there is much to look forward to in 2020 and beyond in Santa Clarita. From the city family to yours, we wish you a joyous and prosperous New Year!Marsha McLean is a member of the Santa Clarita City Council and can be reached at [email protected].