Happy 2020. According to my notes, everything was supposed to be solved by 2020, but in our case, there are still a few loose ends to pick up.
The January 7 City Council Meeting will cover the following:
- Annual Report on AB 1600 Impact Fees
- Review of the Active Projects list
- Second Reading of the PD Overlay for the LDS Church Subdivision
- Transit Board Appointment
- 2 claims against the City.
As we move into 2020, I will be presenting to the City Council an overview of our current projects. Things are really busy, so here are some of the highlights of what is being worked on:
- Two important projects will break ground and begin construction. The Blue Mountain Terrace Senior Affordable Apartments is a 63 unit complex on East Baker Street behind the new Winters Healthcare Campus and Yolo Credit Union. The Fairfield Inn will be a 73 room hotel on Matsumoto Lane and will hold their groundbreaking on Tuesday, January 7, 2020 at 3:30. Both of these projects have been in the works for more than 8 years!
- Housing will be working on affordable housing requirements for the current subdivisions, Blue Mountain Terrace, a 26 Unit “self help” project in the Stone’s Throw subdivision, and the LDS Subdivision.
- Engineering will be working on subdivision capital improvements for the Stones Throw, Heartland, Farmstead, Walnut 10 and Olive Grove.
- Capital Projects to look for in 2020 will be Three Oaks Park, a City Hall Accessibility Remodel (former police station), planning applications for the I505 Overcrossing in support of Yolo County, the Paseo Park (Downtown) connecting the Hotel Winters and Main Street, the Putah Creek Trail Extension and Phase II of the Influent Screen Project at our Wastewater Treatment Facility. Also look for street slurry seal projects at locations throughout the City.
- The City will submit grant applications for a new Senior Center, Fire Personnel, sewer treatment facilities and roadway improvements.
- The Fire Department will be working on overall operational planning, volunteer recruitment, fire prevention and equipment replacement.
- Police will be adding a Police Commander position, participating in the Yolo Crime Task Force, deploying new technology to assist officers, code enforcement and continuing investigations on crimes within the community. The addition of a detective resulted in a 95 year conviction for a child molester in 2019. A major issue with public safety in Winters has been the lack of staffing to follow up on reports and criminal behavior.
- Public Safety in general will be working with our Yolo 911 on the deployment of records management systems to enhance data management of emergency data. This will be a major initiative on a State-wide basis in 2020.
- The City Council represents the City on more than 20 different Boards, Committees and Commission within the region and throughout the State. ALL are tremendously busy and will tackle huge issues from homelessness, housing, groundwater sustainability, regional transportation, energy, habitat and State-wide legislation.
- There will be lots of “planning” in 2020. The City will be developing its updated Housing Element, a “City Limits” Specific Plan will be developed, revisions to the City’s General Plan and key policies.
- A “Climate Action Plan” will be a priority project for the beginning of 2020.
- Economic Development efforts will be on hold from the City standpoint, pending the outcome of certain community discussions.
- The Building Department will be busy with inspections for both new and existing residential, commercial projects including the Fairfield Inn, Blue Mountain Terrace and the never ending Chevron Project. Building will also be implementing a new building permitting software system which will allow online project submittal and permitting.
- A major initiative for Building will be advancing a seismic retrofit ordinance which will affect properties in our Downtown.
For the full list, check out pages 69-97 of the City Council agenda packet: https://www.cityofwinters.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/2020_0107CityCouncilPacket.pdf
One of the biggest issues facing the City organization will be the departure of key personnel in our planning, housing and public works. The success which we have achieved over the years has been rooted in the continuity and long term commitment to seeing big things through. Anyone in business can tell you that long term employees are tremendous assets in achieving the most difficult and challenging projects.
A reality for a community like Winters is that gaining investment confidence with folks is not easily done. In fact, it can take years for what some communities see as simple projects. Our size, limited business climate, location and land use constraints make us a really high risk for those with money and getting some projects to fruition can take years and decades. We genuinely need business leadership to help advance the Winters economy, create jobs and vitality.
I think 2020 is going to be an interesting year!