|City Manager's Weekly Report for the Week Ending March 25, 2011
March 25, 2011
Mayor and Councilmembers:
This is the weekly report for the week ending March 25th, 2011.
The next City Council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, April 5th, with the sole agenda item being whether or not a casino use will continue to be considered at Pt. Molate. Because a large public turnout is expected at this meeting, we are making plans to use the Auditorium instead of the City Council Chambers. We will have a special meeting to consider other business items on Tuesday, April 12th, and will resume the regular meeting schedule beginning on Tuesday, April 19th.
In the meantime, enjoy the off night next Tuesday.
The City Council-authorized 2011 Richmond Community Survey is underway. One of the best ways to improve Richmond’s services is to ask the people that live here what they think. Within the next few weeks, questionnaires will be sent to a random sample of 3,000 Richmond households asking for feedback on the quality and usefulness of city services.
The purpose of the survey is to help city officials evaluate services, measure resident satisfaction with current services, and to help plan for Richmond’s future. The results from the survey will be included in a final report available to all city officials, staff and residents. Residents can contact the city at (510) 620-2783 with questions, comments, or to obtain a survey in Spanish. If you, or someone you know, receive a survey, we would greatly appreciate it if you would complete and return it. Your input can help make the City of Richmond a better place to live, work and play.
The California Parks and Recreation Society (CPRS) held their 2011 Annual Awards Recognition Banquet on March 11th in Sacramento. The banquet culminated with the annual California & Pacific Southwest Recreation & Park Training Conference where CPRS recognized agencies that displayed excellence in park planning, facility design, recreation programming, marketing activities, as well as individuals, organizations, and companies who advance the message, “Parks Make Life Better!” On behalf of the Recreation Department, Director Keith Jabari, Recreation Supervisor Kris Lofthus, and Recreation Program Coordinator for the Aquatics division Arecia Yee, attended the awards banquet to proudly receive the CPRS Award of Excellence for Facility Design for the rehabilitation of the Richmond Natatorium (The Plunge).
Although the Recreation Department has been the recipient of several awards from the CPRS District 3, this is the Department’s first statewide recognition award.
The renovation of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Park is progressing toward a May 7th grand opening. The turf installation for the football/soccer field was completed this week. Parks and Landscaping staff received special training on the maintenance of the first field of this type to be owned by the city. The new restroom facility is now in place, and brick pavers have been installed around 80% of the facility. Next week’s activities should include installation of over two dozen trees and surfacing the running track.
Even as a work in progress, this project merits a “windshield visit” – it looks great.
The revitalization kickoff for the Miraflores Housing Development is this coming Wednesday, March 30th, at 10:00 AM at South 47th Street and Florida Avenue. The theme is “Honoring the Past, Creating a New Beginning.”
The BART garage construction at 16th Street and Macdonald Avenue is well underway, with over 700 piles driven to complete a major portion of the foundation. Vertical columns and panels are now going up. The recent rain has slowed work a bit, but construction is still scheduled for completion in spring 2012.
The Lillie Mae Jones Plaza development at 1st Street and Macdonald Avenue, consisting of 26 units of affordable transitional housing, is on schedule for completion of construction in May, and a grand opening event is being planned for June or July.
The East Bay Center for the Performing Arts (EBCPA) Project at 11th Street and Macdonald Avenue is nearing completion, and EBCPA staff plans to begin moving back in during April. A soft opening is scheduled for June, and a major celebration is being planned for October.
The grand re-opening of the Carquinez Affordable Senior Housing Project (at Harbour Way and Nevin Avenue) is scheduled for May 6th at 2:00 PM. Save the date.
Kaiser Permanente plans to commence construction of their temporary parking facility at 8th Street and Macdonald Avenue (the former J.C. Penney site) on May 2nd.
All Nevin Avenue streetscape improvements from Harbour Way to the inter-modal BART/Amtrak/Bus station are now complete.
(Editor’s note: These are the types of projects that the State is considering getting rid of by discontinuing redevelopment agencies. I’m sympathetic to the State’s financial problems, but redevelopment can be reformed on a statewide basis without ending its important and legitimate uses – especially in the City of Richmond, which has made responsible investments of its redevelopment dollars.)
Richmond’s Employment & Training department staff assisted Auto Warehousing Company (AWC) in hosting four information sessions for applicants interested in applying for jobs for the recently approved Subaru project. The project is slated to create 30 new jobs, of which a minimum of 35% will be filled by qualified Richmond residents. A total of 121 residents attended the recruitment sessions, and 90 of them elected to complete an application.
The jobs being recruited for include shaggers/drivers, accessory, and rail associates. The minimum requirements for the positions include possession of a valid California Driver’s License, the ability to read and write, and the ability to pass a driver’s safety test at 80% or better. All three classifications are represented by the Teamsters Local Union 315, and have a pay scale range between $11.00 and $16.00 an hour, plus benefits.
Richmond residents who could not attend the information sessions, and who are interested in applying, can go the Port of Richmond’s guard gate at 1311 Canal Boulevard and complete an application Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
For the third quarter in a row, every region in California experienced increases in sales tax cash receipts compared to the same quarter a year ago. Richmond increased by 12.1%, Northern California increased by 7.2% and Southern California increased by 6.0% resulting in a statewide increase of 6.5%.
Janet Johnson, Senior Business Assistance Officer with the Community & Economic Redevelopment Agency, has been named a “Downtown Champion” as part of the Downtown Champions Legacy Project. This program is managed by the Richmond Main Street Initiative, and the award acknowledges Janet’s “hard work and vision for making significant improvements Downtown,” said Richmond Main Street Initiative Executive Director Amanda Elliot.
The Richmond Main Street Initiative will present the Downtown Champions Legacy Project, with other Iron Triangle Legacy projects, at the reopening of the East Bay Center in October. Students from ArtsChange and the East Bay Center for Performing Arts will conduct interviews, which will be filmed to create visual art pieces to tell the story of Downtown Richmond. The Richmond Main Street Initiative will produce and archive a series of multi-media visual and digital presentations of residents, civic leaders and business owners who have made significant contributions downtown.
Congratulations to Janet Johnson for her significant contributions to Richmond’s downtown.
Boxing: On March 19th, the Recreation Department and the Richmond Police Activities League successfully partnered to bring amateur boxing to the Richmond Memorial Auditorium. Teams from around the Bay Area, and as far away as Roseville, competed in the event. Approximately 700 spectators enjoyed 14 action-filled bouts in varying divisions.
Zumba: The Recreation Department is now hosting Zumba Fitness Classes from 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM, every Tuesday and Thursday at the Richmond Recreation Complex, and from 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM, every Saturday at the Nevin Community Center.
Maya’s Spring Music Festival: The Disabled Person’s Recreation Center will be hosting the 22nd Annual Maya’s Spring Music Festival on Sunday, March 27th, from 2:00 PM to 4:30 PM at the Richmond Recreation Complex. Attendees will enjoy music, fun, and food while celebrating the talents and accomplishments of Maya’s Music Therapy Fund participants.
Swim Team: On March 1st, the Aquatics division enhanced their current partnership with the Kennedy High School Athletic Department by hosting practices for the new swim team. The team practices at the Richmond Swim Center at 6:00 PM, Monday through Thursday.
Facilities: The painters continue painting the interior of the Parchester Community Center. Carpenters have been assisting at several city facilities to address minor leaks and flooding.
Electrical: The re-lamping on San Pablo Avenue and 23rd Street is complete. Crews repaired the traffic controllers damaged by this week’s storms on Cutting Boulevard and 23rd Street, on the Richmond Parkway, and at Gate 31 at the Chevron refinery entrance.
Parks and Landscaping: Next week, crews will remove damaged play structures from Shields Reid and Atchison Village Parks. Crews will perform weed control on Barrett, Macdonald and Central Avenues’ underpasses. Crews will continue with median clean up and irrigation repairs along the medians on Carlson Boulevard between Bayview Avenue and Cutting Boulevard. Weeding and pruning will be done at Kern and Burg Parks and the Richmond Parkway, and weed abatement will be done in the Hilltop Business District.
The tree trimming crew responded last week to three emergency tree removal calls as the result of this week’s storms on Solano, Panama and Coalinga Avenues. Next week, the crew will work on Gilma, Grove and Parker Avenues. Park crews will complete the North Richmond Ball Field restrooms repairs.
Streets: The paving crews have been very busy addressing potholes and flooding as the result of this week’s storms. This coming weekend, the paving crews will continue on storm patrols. Next week, they will be resurfacing 15th Street from Chanslor Avenue to Macdonald Boulevard.
Sand Bags: Sand bags are available at the Public Works Corporation Yard gates for this coming weekend’s storms.
A very busy and wet week for Public Works crews!
The City is, once again, planning a number of community meetings in May to present and gather input on the City’s annual budget and long-term financial plan. The table below reflects the neighborhood council groups, meeting time, date and location of the presentations.
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or comments about these or any other items of interest to you.
Have a great week!
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