A quick update on the many initiatives and projects I have on my desk:
- Interview and Selection for Fire Chief: We have decided to conduct formal interviews with internal candidates to fill the job of Fire Chief for Winters Fire. The process will include a dual interview panel including a “Technical Interview” with Fire and City Management professionals and a “Community Panel” which will include persons from the community who do business with Winters Fire. This will occur in mid February and we will plan on an appointment by early March.
- Economic Development Committee Report and Recommendations: The draft is in circulation with the Economic Committee and we should have the report completed within the next 10 working days. We will then schedule a workshop for presentation in February.
- Winters Housing Element Update: The City’s General Plan Housing Element expires in October of 2020, thus we need to begin the process for the update. This will include the hire of a consultant and a process of preparation. We will work toward having the request for proposals for a consultant out by April of 2019.
- Greater Winters Community Wildfire Protections Plan: Through a grant with CalFire, Winters Fire has been working with residents of Golden Bear Estates, Positas Rd and other key stakeholders such as Audubon California on a wildfire protection plan. So far, the process has been exceptional and they are working toward a draft which should be ready for public review in March.
- General Plan “refresh”: A key goal for 2019 is to take the City’s General Plan and update various sections to make it easier to read, include more graphics and goals and to essentially make it a more transparent document in compliance with State goals for General Plans. The City has received a $100k grant and will look to hire a consultant to facilitate a “refresh” of our overall plan. To see our overview and status on the City website, click HERE.
- Monthly General Plan Updates: Starting on February 5, the City Council will be getting a monthly update on each of the City’s nine (9) General Plan Elements. February will include an overview of the Health and Safety Element.
- Succession Planning: The City has some key retirements on the horizon. This means the need to hire and replace some key personnel. Look for an extensive discussion of this topic at one of the upcoming Strategic Planning Workshops.
A quick status on some key projects coming soon:
- First Street Parking Lot: A new Downtown Parking Lot will be constructed to support the Downtown Hotel and increase public access. The City calendar has us starting on this project in March and it will bring an additional 38 spaces.
- Flood Plan Update: An update to the flood master plans covering the north area of the City is in development.
- Three Oaks Park: As part of the new housing projects being developed, an 11 acre linear park will be developed named “Three Oaks Park”. The project will be developed in three phases and will include picnic areas, playgrounds, grass play areas, dog parks and a community garden. Infrastructure plans are due in 2019 with construction beginning in 2020.
- City Hall Annex Remodel: A key project at City Hall will be to make it more accessible to residents. In 2017, half of the former fire/police station was remodeled to include a new conference room. Staff is currently working on plans to add additional office space into the other half of the building and move certain administrative offices into that location to ease the ability of folks to do business with the City. Look for this project in 2020.
Have a nice weekend.