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Santa Clarita's 25th: Manager outlines projects

Posted: December 15, 2012 4:00 a.m.
Updated: December 15, 2012 4:00 a.m.
 

As a long-time Santa Clarita resident, 17-year city employee, father of three – soon to be four – and your new city manager, I am excited about what is happening in our city. Santa Clarita is a great place to live, work and play and as the “keepers of the good life,” your City Council and city staff work hard to maintain a safe, clean, healthy and strong city for our families and future generations.

Since cityhood, our city has made tremendous strides in improving quality of life for all residents, fostering a supportive business climate, ensuring financial stability, and building community. Achievements such as 23 beautifully appointed parks, 60 miles of off-street trails and paseos, three Metrolink stations, more than 7,000 acres of preserved open space (with more to come), a transit system, recycling programs, two new libraries, an excellent public safety program, AAA credit rating, and a balanced, on-time budget with healthy reserves are but a few of the successes that set our city apart.

Despite the impacts of the Great Recession, our city, under the leadership of our City Council, has seen positive changes including an unemployment rate consistently lower than the state and national rates, and a healthy increase in sales tax revenues.

I’m often asked what projects the city is working on for the benefit of our community. Here are a few that may be of importance to you:

This year’s annual budget includes a $46.6 million capital improvement program and includes projects in a range of areas across the city. This substantial increase is a result of Santa Clarita successfully securing $14 million in grant funding, which helps our city design and build important projects for the community. In Canyon Country, we are spending $15 million on major projects and programs to enhance this area of our city, which will include a new Community Center. In Saugus, we are adding two new sports fields to increase field space at Central Park.

There are five major road and bridge infrastructure projects that are slated to be completed over the next few years in the city. Right now we are working on widening a bridge over the Santa Clara River on McBean near the post office. This project will add more traffic lanes and a bike path as well as improve congestion along this heavily used roadway. Look for construction to begin next spring.

In Canyon Country, the city will begin construction on the widening of the Golden Valley Bridge over the 14 Freeway. Right now, that section is a two-lane roadway that regularly backs up during peak travel times. The expansion project will make it a safer, six-lane road with new sidewalks and a shared bike path. To further improve traffic circulation, the city is currently in the environmental stage for a road extension linking Via Princessa to Golden Valley.

Design for a roundabout across from William S. Hart Park is also underway with enhanced landscaping, a central art component and a monument entrance to Main Street. This will allow for better traffic flow at the intersections of 5th Street, Newhall Avenue and Main Street.

One of the ways the city is helping to improve traffic circulation this year is through the construction of a new Park and Ride facility at the McBean Transfer Station in the Valencia area. The $4.2 million project will include more than 285 new parking spaces, a five-bus bay concrete platform covered by steel canopies, enhanced landscape beautification, a monument wall, public art exhibits, low-impact site lighting using LED technology, and sustainable design elements.

The city will be adding bike striping for bike lanes to increase opportunities for residents to safely bike to work in the areas of Centre Pointe Parkway, Orchard Village and Tourney Road.

This year, the City Council has allocated $6.9 million to fund overlay improvements which keep our streets smooth.

I am looking forward to serving as your city manager and seeing these projects and others being completed in our community. Public service is an honor and one that all of us at the city work hard at every day. We value your comments and questions.

Striplin can be reached at kstriplin@santa-clarita.com.

 

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