Welcome to 2023, Colton: A thank you and update by Mayor Frank Navarro

0
563

First and foremost, I want to thank you, our residents, for continuing to place your trust and confidence in the direction Colton is moving by reelecting me to continue my work as your Mayor.

Looking back at the last four years we faced challenges and encountered new opportunities to make Colton a better community. Our biggest challenge was surviving the COVID-19 pandemic which impacted everyone’s life, including our city’s day to day operations. Due to state and county mandates, we were required to take necessary steps to control the spread, including curtailing operating hours for some businesses. During this time city staff worked closely with state and county health departments and made changes to those mandates as soon as it was safe to do so. Businesses adjusted to these mandates by adjusting their operations, including innovative new ideas such as curbside pickup and outdoor sales. Although our City Staff was placed on modified schedules, including many who worked from home, we were still able to provide continued services to our community. I commend our city manager, Bill Smith, his executive staff and our city employees for their commitment to working with the city council and myself in making sure that we returned to normalcy in a safe and expeditious manner.

As your Mayor one of my most important tasks is to work with state and county elected officials and inter-governmental agencies to secure much needed funding for our community. I’m proud to say, during the past four years, we were successful in pursuing opportunities to collaborate and work with State Senator Connie Leyva and Assembly Majority Leader Eloise Gomez Reyes. In the end the Assembly Majority Leader followed through on our request and obtained for Colton $19 million dollars. One million will be used to improve the Luque Community Center, to host a larger Library Branch and a Community Resource Center. The Resource Center will house the grant funded Homeless Services Coordinator and services such as food distribution, clothing access, connection to mental health services, a computer lab for employment and educational opportunities, and many other services geared to homeless individuals and our residents. The remaining eighteen million will go to the development of a brand new “state of the art” 35-plus-acre sports complex in South Colton, which has been a personal dream of mine since losing our chance of having a regional park in that area which would have included a sports complex. 

We also obtained almost 2.8 million dollars in funding from our county Supervisor Joe Baca, Jr.  These monies will be used to completely renovate Elizabeth Davis Park as well as make additional improvements to The Colton Avenue bike and pedestrian linear parkway, along with funding for an off-road vehicle and two off road EV motorcycles to combat crime in the Santa Ana Riverbed and elsewhere in an amount of $100,116.99.

Most recently we were successful in receiving another funding request through the efforts of Congressman Pete Aguilar in the amount of $4,160,000 for the re-alignment of Reche Canyon Road and Hunts Lane. This much needed transportation project has been on the books for quite some time and I’m anxious to move forward on this so we can help alleviate some of the traffic issues our Reche Canyon residents deal with daily. All in all, we were successful in bringing in additional funding to our community in the amount of $26,066,116.00.

In the last several years we were able to secure grants for studies to revitalize both our Downtown and South Colton La Cadena business corridors. Work has already begun on a new “paseo” project downtown. We are constantly working with developers and property owners to bring quality commercial and retail projects along Valley Blvd. in the downtown area as well as the La Cadena corridor and other areas of Colton.

Most everyone is aware of the many commercial and retail projects in the west end of our city, namely “The Hub City Centre” located at Pepper Avenue and Valley Blvd. near Arrowhead Regional Medical Center. One of the most exciting projects has been the new California University of Science and Medicine which recently graduated their first class of medical doctors. Look for more new developments to come to this area in the near future. 

New transportation projects are also coming which will benefit Colton. The Washington interchange over the 215 is already in the process of being rebuilt and will feature an additional left turn lane onto the southbound 215, along with being widened to include sidewalks and bike lanes. The bridge on La Cadena over the Santa Ana River will be replaced with a new bridge and the new interchange over Interstate 10 at Mt. Vernon is scheduled to start construction in late 2023. We are also working diligently to secure additional funding to rebuild and widen the Mt. Vernon bridges over the railroad tracks and the Santa Ana River. As you drive around town you will see crews working on alley improvements and street rehabilitation projects, these projects are funded through state funding and CDBG grants and are on-going.

Moving forward into 2023 my commitment to you,  our residents is to continue to improve the quality of life in our Community. I would like to sincerely thank our residents for supporting and voting for Measure S which will enable our City to build upon the progress we’ve made in the past several years. Increased crime and homelessness throughout California are issues that are at the forefront of our concerns here in Colton. Revenues generated by Measure S will help our City deal with these issues by enhancing our Police and Fire Department staffing and retention. Monies from Measure S will also be used to provide quality services that our residents deserve from our Public Works, including streets and parks, Community Services, Development Services and other internal departments.

In closing, I’d like to once again thank our residents for the confidence you’ve placed in me and the direction Colton is taking. I will continue to maintain the close relationships I’ve developed over the years with Federal, State and local elected officials in order to keep the city of Colton at the forefront and eligible to obtain funding needed for future projects which will benefit our community. I look forward to having a great 2023 and for us to continue our momentum into the future. May God continue to bless Colton.

Thank you,

 Mayor Frank J Navarro