Grass Valley committed to continued economic growth |

Grass Valley committed to continued economic growth

This past year has been a successful one for the city council and the city of Grass Valley. The work of the past year represents the cumulative efforts of the past few years.

The city has worked diligently to overcome a $2.5 million budget challenge. This resulted in reduced public services and economic concessions from city employees. The impact of these reductions was felt across the city. The reduction in our public safety services and limited funding for our roads resulted in the proposal and voter approval of Measure N. This measure provides for a 0.5 percent sales tax increase to restore funding for core city services (police, fire and streets). The tax goes into effect April 1.

The voters also approved Measure M, an update to the city’s charter, which will improve our operations.

The city continues to look for ways to enhance our economic base. We have worked with The Center for the Arts to improve its facility, to enhance the quality of performances that draw in visitors. We are working to re-energize the Grass Valley Chamber of Commerce and continue to support the business outreach efforts of the Economic Resource Council. We have improved our communication and work with the development community and joined with the state and other local governments in extending the time frame for implementing approved projects. We’ve seen the completion of the CoRR facility, the first phase of the Wolf Creek Co-Housing Project and the Loma Rica Ranch project approval and annexation.

… the city has re-committed itself to customer service and being a facilitator for those receiving city services and going through our processes.

The city has received a number of grants to assist with street improvements and EPA grants to assist is defining strategies to address contaminated properties. We continue to work with Hospitality House to address homelessness issues in a proactive manner. At the same time we have initiated community oriented policing programs to address crimes and calls for service related to homelessness and transient concerns. We’ve continued our relationship with our schools and the use of the GREAT program and the Healthy Students/Safe Schools initiative.

Through all of this, the city has re-committed itself to customer service and being a facilitator for those receiving city services and going through our processes. We have been fortunate to hire some outstanding management employees, including in-house promotions, which has resulted in the overall reduction in the number of management positions.

We have taken on public improvements such as the rehabilitation of Fire Station No. 1 to meet required “public facility” standards and improve the working conditions for our firefighters. We were able to secure funding for a new ladder truck that serves our community and surrounding region and expanded the fire training facility at Station No. 2. Through a $3 million grant, we improved our water storage capacity and delivery system. We’ve completed upgrades to our Wastewater Treatment Plant and our ability to respond to sewer spills in our community.

Prior to the dissolution of redevelopment agencies by the state legislature, we were effective in working with small businesses, The Center for the Arts and the Grass Valley Downtown Association in promoting our community. The agency assisted in a number of capital projects. Most importantly, we were able to secure the last piece of the funding for the Dorsey Drive Interchange Project with a ground breaking scheduled for this spring.

As mayor, I am committed to continuing the open communication with the community and working with local agencies to address mutual challenges and to pursue joint opportunities. The city council will be focused on economic development this year with a centerpiece being the Dorsey Drive construction. We will continue to work to increase our sales tax base with new retail venues and customers. The Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center will be revitalized and an important partner focused to enhance our business climate and tourism draw. Working with property owners and the county, we will look to the development and annexation of properties south of Grass Valley. While aggressive action is necessary for the city’s fiscal health, we are committed to retaining our historical character of our downtown and the uniqueness and small-town atmosphere of Grass Valley, while improving the economic strength of our region.

I am excited for the coming year and pleased to be working with my fellow council members and serving as your mayor.

Dan Miller is the mayor of Grass Valley.

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