Written and Submitted by Mayor Richard Bailey
The month of May was a busy one at City Hall.
At the City Council meeting on May 14, we reviewed the preliminary budget for fiscal year 2019/20. The entire General Fund budget is $61 million. The good news is that the budget is balanced and continues to set aside funds for future expenditures in a fiscally prudent manner. Contained within the budget are funds to enhance the medians on SR 75 in front of the Shores, build universally accessible playgrounds, and make large investments in critical city infrastructure. We also reformed our community grant process to level the playing field so more local nonprofits could participate while providing better oversight for taxpayers. If your organization would like to apply for a grant, please email our City Clerk, Mary Clifford at firstname.lastname@example.org by June 30 to request an application.
Just in time for summer, the City also deployed brand new accessibility mats at Coronado beaches. These mats create a stable surface for people with limited mobility to more easily traverse and enjoy the beach with friends and family. The mats are easily moved to accommodate low and high tides.
The SR-75 underpass that serves the entrance to the Coronado Cays routinely floods after most rainstorms. For the past two years, the City of Coronado has helped mitigate this flooding by using temporary pumps to redirect the water out of the street to avoid safety issues while working with Caltrans to develop a long-term solution. Caltrans crews are now building the long-term solution and it should be complete by the end of May. The City Council also decided to install enhanced visuals, both street signs and pavement markings, to remind cyclists that cross-traffic does not stop at the Cays entrance. We are hopeful these visuals will help improve the safety of that intersection.
Two weeks ago, I made a short trip out to Washington, D.C. to discuss the sewage issue with individuals close to the Presidential Administration. We continue to work diligently to build allies and spread awareness among key decision-makers and influencers. The U.S. House of Representatives recently announced $30 million in funding for environmental projects along the U.S.-Mexico Border. If adopted, this amount will be added to the $25 million that has been appropriated over the past 18 months which is a big improvement from the $0 that was previously spent the past several years. In June, the City of Coronado is hosting a major stakeholder meeting with the EPA at the Nautilus Room in the Community Center.
Coronado came together to support State Senate Bill 656 that starts to address bridge closures and suicides. The bill was written to form an advisory committee comprised of law enforcement, the mental health community, and local suicide prevention advocates. While the bill itself will not solve the problem, it represents formal acknowledgment from the State, that this is an important problem worth solving. We are pleased to report that the bill passed out of committee on May 7th.
Lastly, you may have noticed a lot of construction activity at the toll plaza over the past several weeks. Caltrans crews are working to enhance the entrance to Coronado by installing a new irrigation system, planting new landscaping, and screening the maintenance yard. These improvements are long overdue and a product of a new working relationship with Caltrans.
It is an honor to represent Coronado and serve you. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to reach out to me or any Councilmember as a resource.
Mayor, City of Coronado