Hello Again Constituents, Neighbors and Friends,
As we begin the new year I wanted to update you on what's happening in Rancho Mirage.
We are off to a flying start. In the last month we had the grand opening of Gelson's Market in the Rancho Mirage Marketplace. The excitement over the addition of this premiere supermarket to the community had the parking lot overflowing. The new drive-through CVS Pharmacy also opened with plenty of fanfare in the Rancho Las Palmas Shopping Center. More on these and other activities is provided below.
If you are a resident of Rancho Mirage it is important that you be aware of and participate in the April 12 all mail-in ballot election. In addition to both Richard Kite and myself running for council as incumbents, there are 4 ballot measures related to the hugely expensive CV LINK project for which your opinion strongly matters. For specific information on the CV LINK ballot measures please visit this link, GENERAL MUNICIPAL ELECTION APRIL 12, 2016, provided by Rancho Mirage Mayor Dana Hobart.
Both last year and the coming one are filled with new developments and opportunities for residents of Rancho Mirage. I hope to cover the subjects important to the community which you will find useful, informative and helpful. Should you have any questions or comments please feel free to contact me by email or, as many of you know, I am always available by telephone.
The City's Financial Projections
As previously announced last summer,
Rancho Mirage is now debt free. Six months into the 2015/16 fiscal year I am pleased to report that we are trending slightly above of our projected plan on revenues and below our projected expenditures.
The following charts show the projected revenues and expenditures for the current and next fiscal years.
Revitalization of the Rancho Las Palmas Shopping Center
The Rancho Las Palmas Shopping Center is once again alive and bustling. Steinmart, the first of three new anchor stores opened on October 15th with a new entrance from Highway 111. The new drive-through CVS had its grand re-opening on January 17th and our newest restaurant, Norma's Italian Kitchen, is a big tasty success. Construction is now beginning on the new 48,000 sqft Hobby Lobby.
Gelson's Market Opens in Rancho Mirage Marketplace
On January 28th, Gelson's Market opened its first specialty grocery store in the Coachella valley in the Rancho Mirage Marketplace. Gelson's now occupies the anchor space in this location which had previously been occupied by Haggen and Pavilion.
The existing store was remodeled and now features new salad, hot foods and antipasti bars; a carving cart within the service deli; a wellness set; and an enhanced juice and cut fruits counter. The new Gelson's store also features upgraded check stands and a customer service desk. Founded in 1951, Gelson's operates 19 full-service specialty grocery stores in Southern California.
Rancho Mirage to Offer CERT (Community Emergency Response Training) to Residents April 12-14, 2016
To help prepare citizens to care for themselves, their families, and neighbors in the event of a major disaster, the City is offering Rancho Mirage residents a free Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training session April 12th through April 14th. In addition to Rancho Mirage residents, employees of businesses located in Rancho Mirage may also attend the training at no cost.
Although the CERT training is offered at no cost to Rancho Mirage residents, registration is required to guarantee a spot in the training session. Applications will be available on the City's Emergency Preparedness webpage at www.ranchomiragepreparedness.org on February 16th or interested parties may contact City Hall to obtain the registration form.
For further information, please contact Rancho Mirage City Hall at 760-324-4511 or visit the Emergency Preparedness Page on the city's website to download an informational flyer.
Rancho Mirage Speaker Series
The Rancho Mirage Speaker Series was established in 2006 to enrich the cultural life in our community through a program where speakers from the political arena, entertainment and literary fields share their opinions and insights.
I hope you can join your fellow residents on February 23rd, to enjoy the humor of bestselling author and leading political satirist, P.J. O'Rourke, and on Tuesday, March 22nd to learn about the foundation of our democratic ideals from the perspective of bestselling author, journalist and constitutional lawyer, Glenn Greenwald.
Please click here for more information or tickets.
Rancho Mirage Community Park Expansion and Amphitheater
A ribbon cutting ceremony for the new amphitheater was held in early November during the 2015 Art Affaire.
A series of concerts are scheduled to begin at our new amphitheater on Valentine's Day 2016.
Finishing touches are being put on the newly refurbished park which includes additional parking, a pedestrian promenade, amphitheater, children's playground, pickle ball courts and much more.
Consistent with Rancho Mirage's pledge to "Think Green", extensive new drought tolerant plant material, a state-of-the-art automated efficient irrigation system and LED landscape and parking lot lighting systems have been installed in the newly refurbished park.
More information and artist renderings of the park and amphitheater are available at this City link.
With the new amphitheater open in Rancho Mirage's Community Park the city has organized a series of Concerts Beginning February 14th through April 16. Many of these concerts are free with open seating for the public. For more information and to download the official Music in the Park brochure please click on the link to the right.
Rancho Mirage Dog Park
NEWS FLASH - It's on its way!
A Preliminary Development Plan and Environmental Assessment was approved to develop a dog park on approximately 4 acres of City owned land at the corner of Via Vail and Key Largo. The dog park includes landscaping, walking paths, shade structures, water fountains and parking. The goal is to complete the Dog Park this summer before the 2016 "snowbird season" begins.
Click here to open a window and view a layout of the dog park.
Rancho Mirage Observatory
Plans for the new Rancho Mirage Observatory which is being designed by renowned architect, Charles Martin are nearing completion.
A Request for Qualifications (RFQ) will be released in January 2017 followed by notification to qualified candidates in February 2017 to submit proposals. A contract may be awarded in March 2017 followed by commencement of construction in April 2017.
The observatory is expected to take 6-months to construct. Currently, the telescope and dome are being developed.
In September, the City Council approved entitlements for expansion to the Sunnylands campus to add administrative, archive, maintenance, and storage buildings, additional parking and more drought-tolerant landscaping on 15 acres. A new overflow parking lot with 153 spaces and four bus parking spaces will be built north of the existing visitor center. The project includes a wastewater reclamation system which will be the first of its kind in Rancho Mirage.
Thunderbird Resort and Spa
This exciting new proposed commercial development consists of a 244,541 square foot resort development located on 23.71 acres of undeveloped land. The project consists of new one and two-story resort, spa, fitness, restaurant, convention and residential buildings which will be located along the west side of Highway 111 between Cancer Survivors Park and Atrium Way.
The developer informed the city that they are on track for finalization of an Operator Agreement and Financing package and envision being able to green light their design team to move full speed ahead.
The proposed project includes:
General Municipal Election and CV LINK Voter Referendum on April 12th
Over the last year there has been considerable discussion and consternation regarding the CV LINK project. Rancho Mirage and in particular, Mayor Dana Hobart, have been leading the fight for more accuracy and transparency of the project's plans, costs and funding.
Here is a brief synopsis of key issues - for more information please follow the links below.
The entire City Council originally endorsed the concept of the CV Link as a bicycling path and jogging trail. When the devil in the details was disclosed, it was a very different concept which has now been rejected by a 5-0 vote by the Council.
The bicycle path suddenly became a $100 million dollar, 20' to 30' paved track project now including NEV (neighborhood electric vehicles) with an estimated operations and maintenance cost of $1.6 million per year without clarity on how and who is to pay for it. Originally the project was presented to the city as at "no expense".
Most worrisome is the fact that the route through Rancho Mirage being proposed by CVAG, along Highway 111, Bob Hope Drive will negatively impact the life style of our residents and be disruptive to our businesses. At this time, we have proposed a route to CVAG that has been rejected.
Rancho Mirage's months-long effort to secure a public vote regarding the CV Link has been accomplished. The following is a brief message from our City Clerk:
I hope you have found this update useful. If you would like more information on the latest building projects and activities affecting our city I suggest you visit my website, www.TedWeill.com, and the City's website, www.RanchoMirageCA.gov.
Thank you for your support and for electing me to be your representative on the City Council and I hope for your continued support this April. My goals as your representative is to work every day on your behalf!
Paid for by the Committee to Re-Elect Ted Weill to Rancho Mirage City Council 2016 I.D. #1355769
Please note: Rancho Mirage city employees are prohibited from making campaign contributions to my re-election campaign.
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