CITY: La Mirada Continues to Progress in 2014 E-mail
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Monday, 27 January 2014 19:35

La Mirada City officials are looking forward to building on recent accomplishments in 2014 as the City continues to provide a safe community, improve its fiscal position, improve its aging infrastructure, attract new businesses, and maintain the community’s high quality of life.

“2013 saw the City make considerable progress towards many of its strategic goals, such as ensuring a safe community, improving its infrastructure, and promoting a strong local economy,” says City Manager Jeff Boynton.  “We will continue on that course this year.”

The City continues to recover from the Great Recession, state grabs of local tax dollars, and the loss of redevelopment in recent years.  City officials are encouraged by recent economic signs in which sales, property, and transient occupancy (hotel users) tax revenues grew over the last year.  The FY 2013-14 budget, adopted last June, held a slight surplus and the City maintains modest reserve levels.

Though encouraged by improvements to the economy, the City remains committed to its prudent fiscal management practices and conservative approach to revenue forecasting.  Basic services continue to be delivered with a lean workforce of some 65 full-time employees, about a 33 percent decrease from five years ago.  Hourly City employees were reduced by a similar amount over this time.  The City continues to make extensive use of contracted services to achieve cost efficiencies while meeting the community’s needs.

Public safety remains the City’s top priority. Cooperative efforts between the City and Sheriff’s Department, and community participation through programs such as Neighborhood Watch, Community Emergency Response Team, and Business and HAM Watch lead to a safe community.  Crime in La Mirada remains near its lowest point in 20 years according to statistics from the FBI and Sheriff’s Department.  Proactive efforts targeting suspected criminals by Sheriff’s Deputies and continued community support of crime-prevention programs and City-wide disaster readiness activities keep La Mirada among the safest cities in the region.

Investments in local infrastructure will continue this year as the City begins the first phase of Measure I improvements, which will address some of La Mirada’s nearly $67 million in needed infrastructure repairs.  Improvements will include neighborhood street rehabilitation and slurry seal, curb and gutter repairs, installation of ADA curb access ramps, removal and replacement of slotted cross gutters, and storm drain pipe repairs.

The Measure I Citizens’ Oversight Board, which is monitoring the use of Measure I funds and reviewing program performance, has met several times.  The five-member Citizens’ Oversight Board is expected to issue a report on the use of Measure I funds later this year.

The City will also begin the final phase of Foster Park Neighborhood Improvements, complete additional sidewalk improvements along Santa Gertrudes Avenue between Rosecrans Avenue and Alicante Road, and partner with Los Angeles County to install street medians along La Mirada Boulevard and Imperial Highway.  Additionally, the City has received a grant from Metro to conduct a noise study in residential neighborhoods along Stage Road near the BNSF Railway tracks.  The study, which is expected to last four months, begins later this month.

The Valley View Grade Separation Project is on track to be completed by the end of the year.  The $65 million grade separation project, a joint effort between La Mirada, Santa Fe Springs, Caltrans, and BNSF Railway, will enhance traffic safety, assist local economic activity, and reduce vehicle delays and idling along busy Valley View Avenue, which carries some 40,000 vehicles daily.

Progress continues on La Mirada’s newest housing development, The Orchards.  The 41-home development broke ground last August and is expected to be substantially completed by the end of this year.  Four model homes are nearly complete and offer a preview of what will be an attractive addition to the community’s supply of quality housing.

Caltrans is scheduled to begin construction on La Mirada’s segment of the I-5 Freeway later this year.  The state agency is widening the freeway, adding one carpool lane and one mixed-flow lane in each direction, and making interchange modifications at Valley View Avenue and Artesia Boulevard, along with other improvements.  The City recently completed improvements to Alondra Boulevard, Stage Road, Trojan Way, and Firestone Boulevard in advance of the freeway widening, which is expected to increase traffic along these streets during construction.

Also, the I-5 Specific Plan will be adopted this year, which will create a vision for the Freeway Commercial Zone between Valley View and Knott Avenues, and set forth design guidelines for future economic development along the freeway corridor.

Following renovations to the Crossroads Shopping Center last year, which helped to attract new businesses like Walmart Neighborhood Market and Walgreens Pharmacy to the City, two shopping centers at the corners of Valley View and Rosecrans Avenues are undergoing renovations.  Improvements to the Roseview Shopping Center, located on the southeast corner near Mr. V’s Restaurant, are nearing completion with new signage and parking lot landscaping to be added.  Improvements to the commercial center across the street near Pep Boys Auto Parts began in December.  These privately-funded improvements will enhance shopping opportunities within La Mirada and help to attract new businesses to the City.

The Community Services Department continues to ensure residents have access to a wide-range of recreation and leisure activities to suit all ages and skill levels.  Building off a successful summer at Splash! in 2013, City staff is preparing to reopen Buccaneer Bay in May and continue to serve as a premiere location for birthday parties and other celebrations.  Splash! also offers first-class swimming opportunities and classes for community members year-round.

In addition to Splash!, the Department is busy planning and preparing for popular community events such as the upcoming Father-Daughter Dance, Easter Egg Hunt, Mother-Daughter Tea, Independence Celebration, Summer Concert Series, Salute to Veterans, and Chili Holiday Event.

An update to the Community Services Master Plan, which will guide recreation programming and services for the next several years, is nearing completion. Several public workshops and an online survey were conducted to gather feedback towards this effort.

The La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts, fresh off a spectacular year in 2013 that saw the Theatre take home three Ovation Awards, including one for Best Season, continues with another terrific lineup of Broadway-style productions.  This season features back-to-back runs of two of the most celebrated musicals of all-time in Cats (Apr. 18 – May 11) and Les Misérables (May 30 – Jun. 22), the return of the unique and intimate Onstage series with Floyd Collins (Mar. 27 – Apr. 13), and a remarkable mix of special events.  The Theatre kicks off 2014 on Jan. 24 with the Tony Award-winning play God of Carnage, which runs through February.



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