Mayor Susan Harvey and SMART Train Rep to Update Community

  • For those of you unable to attend the April 6 Chamber-sponsored annual State of the City Address, please see the report below given by Cotati Mayor Susan Harvey. This enlightening information included some past and some future projects to enhance the city. Also see information about the SMART train update we were given below.
    Annual State of the City
    By Mayor Susan Harvey
    Cotati Chamber Luncheon
    April 6, 2017
    Thanks to the support of the community with Measure G, we are able to continue supporting:

    1. Preserve and improved police service to keep our City safe (Traffic officer assignment, new officer)
    2. Improved level of maintenance (new PW worker, higher level of park and street maintenance)
    3. Resurrection of the Recreation Department
    1. Initiatives
      1. Implementation of the new State storm water permit, where we are now working regionally to address the quality of the water in our run off and streams.
    2. Making strides to improve public communication, information, and access:
      1. Continued expansion of presence on Facebook, Nextdoor, and Nixle to better inform people about city activities and opportunities for involvement
      2. Working on a new website to better provide information to the public
      3. Added National Night Out and Coffee with a Cop, to get to know our police officers in a more casual environment
      4. Added Breakfast with Santa and continue to grow our events (Kids Day and Tree lighting)
      5. Continuing to make improvements to financial documents to make them easier to understand for the public
    3. Implemented key projects, including:
      1. Completed water main replacement on West Cotati Avenue and new master meter at Rancho Cotati Shopping Center
      2. Completed new sidewalk on the north side of the Plaza, and upgraded curb ramps on West School Street and in the Gravenstein Way neighborhood.
      3. Completed repaving of downtown, on Old Redwood Highway, and utilized a $250k federal grant.
      4. Nearly complete with the northern gateway improvements, including the new pedestrian plazas, new sidewalks, street lights, and landscaping. Utilizing a $1.1M federal grant.
      5. Completed the Falletti Ranch fencing and pathway, and will be moving forward on exploring partnerships for operation this summer.
      6. Restoring landscape on Myrtle Avenue
      7. And a lot more to come!

    Looking ahead through June:

    1. Repaired fencing at Sunflower tennis courts, and will be repairing the courts and opening the restrooms soon!
    2. Website redesign.
    3. Lighting and landscaping projects
    4. Discussions on regulation of marijuana
    5. Initiation of SMART service, and continuing to work on quiet zones
    6. Publication of our first Recreation Guide
    7. Wayfinding Program discussions
    8. Start of the Santa Rosa Plain Groundwater Management Agency
    9. Potentially re-opening the Santero Way Specific Plan

    Next Fiscal Year (17/18)

    We recently had the first of a two part strategic planning study session for FY 17-18.  The focus areas we discussed for next year are:

    1. Economic Development
    2. Community
    3. Continual improvement

    While it’s too early to provide much detail, in general:

    1. Continue to expand opportunities for public communication and information, and continue to better serve our customers.
    2. Continue to expand our recreation program.
    3. Focus on and implement strategic economic development initiatives, including areas such as tourism.
    4. Pending Regional Efforts:
      1. Groundwater Sustainability Agency start-up in the Santa Rosa groundwater basin, as required by recent changes in state law.
      2. County-wide Climate Action Plan implementation; also required to implement state law around green house gas reductions.
    5. Main upcoming construction projects:
      1. We are looking to continue street paving.
      2. Planned Laguna Bypass sewer main.
      3. Looking at financing mechanisms for Hwy 116 construction
      4. Other construction projects to support long term strategic goals
      5. Numerous lower cost, high impact community projects (lighting, landscaping, painting)
    6. The City Council will also be conducting the next strategic planning meeting for FY 17-18 on April 18, and will consider priorities for the next fiscal year. This will be followed by budget study sessions, which match the priorities with available funding.

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    Additionally, Matt Stevens, Community Relations Manager from SMART gave an update at the annual address on progress being made to get the trains ready to go for passenger use. It is expected they will be running in spring/summer this year. A high priority for SMART is the safety of pedestrian and vehicular traffic on and near the tracks. Questions may be directed to SMART at info@sonomamarintrain.org or via phone at the Project Information Hotline at (707) 794-3077.