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City Manager's Update: March 26, 2019

Post Date:03/26/2019 1:00 PM

Hello everyone!

In an effort to provide an update of important news and notes from this last week, the following report has been prepared.  As always, please feel free to let me know if you have a question about any of the items contained in this update – I can be reached via email at ochi@ci.monrovia.ca.us!

And of course… all the best to you and yours as we continue through this week!

Best regards,
Oliver


Quote of the Week 

I think we dream so we don't have to be apart for so long. If we're in each other's dreams, we can be together all the time.

–A.A. Milne


City Launches New One-Stop Shop Website For All Of Your Development Questions – Visit Www.Buildingmonrovia.Com Today!

To provide more information on the unprecedented development interest taking place in Monrovia, the City has spent the last few months creating a new website focused on helping residents and businesses not only learn more about each project that is being considered, but also answer frequently asked questions about the impacts these development may have on the community.  The website includes pages on all the major areas of concern, such as: 

  • Parking
  • Traffic
  • Affordable Housing
  • Water
  • Public Safety
  • And more! 

Last Wednesday, the City held a joint City Council / Planning Commission to review the upcoming major development projects that will be considered for entitlements starting later this year.  The Commission, Council, and community members provided valuable feedback at the meeting that will help guide next steps as these projects move through review.  The major projects that are likely going to be considered by the City this year include: 

  1. Trammel Crow Residential - "The Alexan Specific Plan"
    • A 436-unit project proposed to be built at 1625 South Magnolia Avenue
  2. Fifield Realty Corporation - "West Pomona Transit District"
    • A 310-unit project proposed to be built at 123 West Pomona Avenue
  3. MW Investment Group - "Arroyo at Monrovia Station"
    • A 284-unit project proposed to be built on the City block bound by South Magnolia to the west, South Primrose to the east, West Evergreen to the north, and West Pomona to the south
  4. City Park-and-Ride Lot
    • A proposed ~130 key Cambria hotel project located on the City's park-and-ride lot at the southwest corner of Myrtle Avenue / Pomona Avenue.

We do hope that you take the opportunity to look through www.buildingmonrovia.com and learn more about all of the exciting developments that are taking place in Monrovia! For in-depth details on each project and to track each project as it moves through the development process over the next several months, you can also visit the Development Spotlight page on the main City website.

Building Monrovia Homepage


New State Regulations Have Further Eroded Local Control Over Housing Decisions

As the City prepares to consider several large-scale development projects, one housing note that we wanted to share with everyone relates to the impact that recent State legislation has had on our local land use controls as it relates to housing development.  As you may recall, in 2017 and in 2018, the State approved a series of legislative amendments to the Housing Accountability Act (HAA), which combined has reduced local government authority to deny or reduce the density of proposed housing development projects.To highlight how those pieces of legislation impact a municipality’s ability to regulate development, a full memo on the matter can be found online. In particular, I wanted to highlight some of the key changes that staff is currently grappling with:

  • The new regulations adopted by the State stipulate that if a project conforms to a City’s applicable development standards (i.e., no variances or exceptions are sought), it will be extremely difficult for the City to legally deny any housing project.
  • Furthermore, while a City can still institute a design and neighborhood compatibility review process, the City essentially now cannot deny a housing development project, or impose conditions that the project be developed at a lower density, unless strict findings can be identified which indicate that a project would have a specific, adverse impact on public health or safety.

Again, a memo outlining all of the new State mandated housing development regulations that we are contending with can be found online.


Board Member And Commissioner Recruitment Process Set To Begin In April, Informational Meeting Scheduled To Occur On March 27 At 6:00 P.M.

We wanted to let everyone know that the City has initiated our annual City Board Member and Commissioner Recruitment Process.  There are several board / commissioner terms set to expire this year, and the City will be hosting an informational meeting on March 27 at 6:00 p.m. at City Hall.  A flyer with additional information can be found online.

We will have several Board / Commission positions available this year, including the following:

  • Community Services Commission (3 Vacancies)
    • Thomas Dittmar
    • Brian Ulm
    • Amy Cortina
  • Historic Preservation Commission (2 Vacancies)
    • Sergio Jimenez
    • Penny Zuk
  • Library Board (3 Vacancies)
    • Mark Harvis
    • Alrita Morgan
    • Kim Walters
  • Monrovia Old Town Advisory Board (2 Vacancies)
    • Diane Balsamo
    • Kristen Miller
  • Planning Commission (2 Vacancies)
    • Robert McClellan
    • Cheryl Rose

Additional information regarding each board / commission, along with information on the recruitment process, can be found online.


National Recreation Area Approval Push Being Coordinated – Sgvcog Is Looking For Cities To Offer Their Support For Senator Harris’ Proposal To Establish The San Gabriel Mountains Foothills And Rivers Protection Act

This week, Mayor Pro Tem Shevlin shared with staff that the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments (SGVCOG) is looking for support for California Senator Kamala Harris’ Federal legislation known as the San Gabriel Mountains Foothills and Rivers Protection Act.  Given this pending ask of cities, staff does plan on placing this item on our next City Council meeting agenda for review and consideration.

As you recall, based on an analysis conducted by staff, we can confirm that Senator Harris’ legislation is a companion bill to the NRA legislation previously introduced by Congressmember Judy Chu.  Our preliminary findings regarding the legislation are summarized as follows:

  • A map of the proposed NRA boundaries associated with Senator Harris’ legislation does exist.  In reading through the legislation, it refers to several different studies in identifying the boundaries of the proposed NRA.  Our team went back to those source documents, and found the actual map that is being referred to in the current NRA measure being considered.  A higher resolution of that map is included as an attachment to this email for your reference, and a couple of screen shots to highlight that information are included below.
  • A full copy of Senator Harris’ proposed NRA legislation can be found online.
  • A press release issued by Senator Harris highlighted that her NRA bill (known as the San Gabriel Mountains Foothills and Rivers Protection Act) seeks to “restore, enhance, and preserve California’s wilderness and public lands, as well as expand economic and recreational opportunities for the surrounding communities.”  Furthermore, the press release highlights that the measure introduced by Senator Harris is a companion to the “House legislation introduced by Rep. Chu (D-CA).”  A copy of that press release can be found online.
  • Of note, the proposed measure does not seem to impact non-Federally owned land, however, it does create an additional overlay of Federal bureaucracy over the entire NRA area (including portions of Monrovia), and it mandates that within 3-years after the passage of the law, the Secretary of the Interior prepare a comprehensive Management Plan to further the goals of legislation.  Those goals include:
    • To conserve, protect, and enhance for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations the ecological, scenic, wildlife, recreational, cultural, historical, natural, educational, and scientific resources of the recreation area.
    • To provide environmentally responsible, well managed recreational opportunities within the recreation area, and improve access to and from the recreation area.
    • To provide expanded educational and interpretive services that will increase public understanding of and appreciation for the natural and cultural resources of the recreation area.
    • To facilitate the cooperative management of the lands and resources within the recreation area, in collaboration with the State and political subdivisions of the State, historical, business, cultural, civic, recreational, tourism and other nongovernmental organizations, and the public.
    • To allow the continued use of the recreation area by all persons, entities, and local government agencies in activities relating to integrated water management, flood protection, water conservation, water quality, water rights, water supply, groundwater recharge and monitoring, wastewater treatment, public roads and bridges, and utilities within or adjacent to the recreation area.

Again, based on the discussions happening at the SGVCOG, we will be agendizing this item for City Council review in April.  In addition, staff will continue monitoring this particular matter, and we will certainly let everyone know about any relevant developments that occur regarding this issue.  In the meantime, the maps discussed above are outlined below.

NRA Boundary Map

NRA Proposed Map

NRA Boundary Overlaid on Monrovia

NRA Proposed Overlaid Monrovia


A Second Community Meeting To Discuss Possible Sales Tax Measure Scheduled For Tuesday, March 26, 6:00 – 7:00 P.M., In Community Center Monroe Room

The City has scheduled a Community Meeting to discuss issues and answer questions related to a potential sales tax measure in 2019.  We want to hear from the community to see if a local tax measure could be a viable solution for Monrovia as we search for ways to protect our local sales tax capacity from other governmental jurisdictions, including LA County.  The meeting will take place at the Community Center (119 West Palm Ave.) on Tuesday, March 26, from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. Please visit us online for more information.

The City is contemplating the possibility of placing a sales tax measure on the ballot in 2019 for voter consideration because of current taxation trends in LA County.  Because did you know that LA County has the highest base sales tax rate in California?  At 9.5%, we have the highest sales tax rate in the State – higher than even Silicon Valley or San Francisco!

And given the high sales tax level we’re currently paying here in LA County, we are in fact pushing up close to the local sales tax limit!  Because with LA County’s current base sales tax rate at 9.5%, the vagaries of State law means there is only 0.75% of available sales tax capacity remaining.

You may be asking how we got to a point where LA County has the highest sales tax rate in the State.  Since 2004, LA County has been able to eventually pass EVERY single tax measure that they’ve put forth to county voters, even when 2/3 voter approval was needed!

And when LA County passes a sales tax measure, the funding doesn’t come to us here in Monrovia.  Instead, we end up paying WAY more than we get back.  On average, we get only 10 cents back of every sales tax dollar we contribute to the County, and there are several instances when we get back even less than that.

Take for example 2017’s Measure H quarter-cent sales tax to fund services and help prevent homelessness.  The tax will raise about $355 million per year across the County, and Monrovia contributes around $2.6 million per year towards the measure.  Despite contributing millions, Monrovia has only received $30,000 from the County – or about 1% of what we’ve paid into the overall program.  And to add salt to the wound, cities that have received tens of millions of dollars from Measure H for homeless services – cities like Santa Monica and Long Beach – have not paid a single penny into the Measure H fund.

Now the reason that cities like Santa Monica and Long Beach don’t pay the Measure H sales tax is because those communities approved measures to keep their funds local and away from LA County.  There’s a cap to how much sales tax rates can be raised in any city, and once you reach that cap, LA County can’t impose any additional sales tax increases, even if the increase is approved across the county.

In fact, across LA County, 20 of the 88 cities have reached the maximum sales tax rate of 10.25%, and another 9 cities have increased their sales tax rate to 10%.  Those cities that have reached the 10.25% cap do not pay for additional LA County taxes, but are still able to receive the funds collected.  Like in the Measure H homeless tax example noted above, cities like Santa Monica and Long Beach, who had previously reached 10.25%, have access to the new taxes generated, despite not paying a single cent into the fund.

Given all this information, the City is seriously considering a sales tax measure in 2019 because LA County is looking to go back out to the voters to ask for additional sales tax increases in 2020 and 2022.  We know that LA County is laying the groundwork for an AQMD sales tax measure, and we’ve also heard that the County is looking at an additional sales tax increase for more money for homeless support services.  And based on the County’s track record, it is more than likely that they’ll get both sales tax measures approved.

And if history is any guide, what that means is Monrovia will end up paying a lot, and we’ll only get back around 10% of the amount we contribute.

Unless, that is, we do something in Monrovia to protect our resources and keep our money local by approving a local sales tax measure.  Since we know that LA County is planning these tax increase proposals soon, the opportunity to keep those funds here in the City under our own local control will not remain an option for too much longer.

To learn more and share your feedback, we hope you will join us at this Tuesday’s community meeting!


New Water Bottle Filling Station Installed At The Community Center!

Just a quick note to let everyone know that a new water bottle filling station was installed at the Community Center this past week. The City was selected by the Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District (Upper District) to receive the station as part of a community water savings grant program. Eco Tech Services (a local Monrovia company) installed the station at no cost to the City. Using this station will help to reduce the amount of water and other resources used in the production and transportation of bottled water.

Did you know...

  • It takes 3 liters of water to produce 1 liter of bottled water.
  • It takes 22 gallons to produce 1 pound of plastic.
  • It takes twice as much water to produce a plastic water bottle as the amount of water contained in the bottle.
  • This station will help to reduce waste.
    • Eighty percent of plastic bottles end in the dump, only to be burned or end up in landfill.
    • Filtered water bottle filling stations serve as an alternative to plastic water bottles through use of tap water.

Here at the City, we recognize that everyone in our community is doing their part to conserve during this ongoing drought. We continue to seek opportunities that would promote water conservation. So next time you’re in the community center, fill up your water bottle using our new station!

Water Bottle Station


Monrovia Area Partnership And The Volunteer Center Coordinates A “Care For Your Neighbor Program” – With 80 Student Volunteers – To Help Benefit The Non-Profit Organization, She Has A Name

The Neighborhood & Business Services Division provide services to the community through code enforcement and neighborhood service programs.  Code enforcement staff often come across residents with code enforcement violations at their properties that involve yard maintenance which, due to a resident’s age or life-circumstance has gotten out of control and can’t be corrected through traditional code enforcement means.

Given these situations, here in Monrovia, we’ve developed some unique local response efforts.  Through various volunteer programs, such as our Make A Difference Day, or the City’s Care for Your Neighbor Program, we have consistently found ways to help assist our neighbors in need.

We wanted to share one such terrific situation.  This past Saturday, March 23, City staff and volunteers from the San Gabriel Valley Volunteer Center partnered together with a group of volunteers from local churches.  With the help of around 80 youth (middle and high school aged students), we were able to coordinate significant improvements at three properties in Monrovia (222 East Cyprus, 336 West Colorado, and 611 West Lemon).

The student group was led by Pastor Nick Melazzo of the First Evangelical Church here in Monrovia.  Their efforts served as a fundraiser to raise funds for a non-profit organization called “She Has a Name,” which is an organization that works to rescue girls from poverty-driven child prostitution in the shanty towns of Nairobi, Kenya.

A special thanks to the San Gabriel Volunteer Center, Public Works staff, the Home Depot, Councilman Spicer and the First Evangelical Church Youth groups for helping to complete these projects!  Please find below some additional information submitted by Pastor Nick regarding the youth groups’ fundraising efforts for the charity “She Has a Name.”

Local Youth Work to Rescue African Girls

More than seventy middle and high school students from four First Evangelical Church Youth Groups are coming together to volunteer with The City of Monrovia on Saturday, 23 March to do a day of landscaping at multiple properties across the city in an event called traffic! They won’t be paid, but instead are asking people to support their work project by donating to “She Has a Name”, an organization that rescues girls from poverty driven child prostitution in the shanty towns of Nairobi, Kenya. For the past two years, the youth have worked and raised monies that has helped in the rescue and support of Florah, a sixteen year old who is now back in school and bringing home straight A report cards. They hope to raise more than enough to support her for another year. To find out more, see photos and video of Florah, and donate online here.

Before

336 W Colorado - Before611 W Lemon - Before 222 E Cypress - Before

After

336 W Colorado - After 611 W Lemon - After 222 E Cypress - After


Monrovia Public Library’s New Monthly Trivia Night Series At Copper Still Grill! Join Us For Game Of Thrones Trivia On April 14, 6:30 – 8 P.M.

The Library has partnered with Copper Still Grill to host a monthly trivia series!  The next Trivia Night will focus on Game of Thrones on Thursday, April 4, from 6:30-8:00 p.m. just in time for the final season premiere on April 14!  The Night King and his Army of the Dead are marching past the Wall as we speak, so grab your dragons and Valyrian steel and get ready to head over to Copper Still Grill!  Their Happy Hour begins at 6:00 p.m., so attendees are encouraged to arrive early to claim a table and browse the deals. And for all you comic fans, get ready for Marvel Trivia Night in May!

Harry Potter Trivia 1

Harry Potter Trivia 2  Harry Potter Trivia 3

 


The Older American Of The Year Has Been Selected… But It’s A Secret!  Come To A Special Luncheon Recognition Event Scheduled For April 25 At 11:00 A.M. To Find Out Who Won The Award This Year!

Just a quick note to let everyone know that… well… we can’t tell you who won the Older American of the Year award just yet!  If you’re like us and can’t wait to find out who was selected, then make plans to join us at a special luncheon event on April 25, 2019, at 11:00 a.m., at the Monrovia Community Center to find out!  Additional event details are included below in the event invitation!

2019 Older American of the Year


Join The Boys & Girls Club Of The Foothills For Their Youth Of The Year Celebration On April 11, 5:30, At Arcadia Mall Dave & Buster’s

The Boys & Girls Club of the Foothills invites you to the Youth of the Year Celebration!  This event will honor the 2019 Mary Wilcox Youth Advocacy Award recipients, Tom and Heidi Luginbuhl, and the Youth of the Year, Mahira Mejia.  We hope you will join in the festivities to recognize the incredible youth and youth advocates in the community.

2019 Youth of the Year


LA Regional Water Board Unanimously Approves The City’s Revised Rewmp Stormwater Management Plan – Regulator Emphatically Recognizes Our Group (And Council Member Crudgington Specifically) For The Innovative, Thoughtful, And Collaborative Approach We Took… All While They Approved A Plan That Lowers Our Estimated Stormwater Compliance Costs By 90%!

We are so excited to share that this past Thursday, the LA Regional Water Board unanimously and emphatically approved our region’s Revised Enhanced Watershed Management Program (rEWMP) plan!  This approval is the culmination of more than three years of work by numerous people and entities, and we couldn’t be happier with the result that we achieved!

Now by way of background, you may recall that for the past 3+ years, we have been working collaboratively with our regional municipal partners, with environmental NGO groups, and with State regulators in an attempt to develop a more meaningful, measurable, and achievable stormwater management plan.  Of note, one of the driving forces behind this intensive multi-year planning effort was the fact that our original stormwater program was estimated to cost $1.4 billion (yes… BILLION) to implement!

After extensive study, analysis, and coordination, the LA Regional Water Board voted to approve our rEWMP.  By working to design optimized stormwater projects in a way that sought to minimize cost / size, while maximizing stormwater pollutant capture efforts for every dollar spent, the newly approved plan was able to achieve compliance, while also reducing costs by 90%!  Of note, our updated plan reduced the 436 miles of green streets in our original program into a more efficient and effective suite of initiatives that includes only 19 miles of green streets and 4 major regional projects.

There are so many individuals who played a key role in helping us achieve this result, and of particular note, we have to recognize Council Member Gloria Crudgington, who was an unrelenting and driving presence in ensuring that all relevant stakeholders worked together to find a way to achieve clean stormwater, but in a fiscally responsible way.  Throughout the LA Regional Water Board hearing, numerous individuals from the NGO community and Water Board Members made it a point to compliment, highlight, and emphasize the approach that Council Member Crudgington took in pursuit of achieving clean water.

With the plan approved, our efforts will now turn towards implementing the various elements of the program to ensure that we build out the projects identified in our approved rEMWP.  And thanks to the fact that we will have Measure W money available, we are all optimistic that moving ahead, the issues we’ll be discussing related to stormwater will be construction mitigation activities!

A full copy of our rEWMP plan can be accessed online.

Rio Hondo San Gabriel River rWEMP

rWMP Table


Assemblymember Holden Names Christine Geltz As Monrovia’s 2019 Woman Of Distinction

This past week, we were excited to learn that Assemblymember Chris Holden named Christine Geltz as Monrovia's 2019 Woman of Distinction.  As you may know, Christine currently serves as President of the Monrovia Association of Fine Arts Board, a board she has worked on since 2006.  She has also served as the chair of the Celebrate the Arts Show and ChalkFest.  Christine has been building partnerships with the City, service organizations, and the school district to expand arts opportunities and education for adults, college students, and children in the area.

In recognition of Christine and the other fabulous women that Assemblymember Holden will has identified as his Woman of Distinction, a special event will be held at the Assemblymember’s Annual Spring Open House:

  • Thursday, March 28
  • 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
  • Program starts at 6 p.m.
  • 41st Assembly District Office (600 N. Rosemead Blvd., Suite 117, Pasadena, CA 91107)

Additional details about the event – and about Christine – can be found online.

Congratulations Christine on a well-deserved honor!


Monrovia’s Robotics Team Is Going To The World Robotics Championships… And They Need Your Help To Raise Money For The Trip!!!

Monrovia High School's robotics team 4625 – the “Kings and Queens” – has won a spot to compete in the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) World Robotics Championship Tournament to be held in Houston on April 16-20.  After a grueling season of competitions, only 296 of the 7,010 FTC robotics teams around the world have qualified for the World Championship.

A few weeks ago at the SoCal FTC Regional Championship held at Monrovia High School, 48 of the top FTC teams in Southern California competed.  The Kings and Queens were picked to create an alliance by team Brain Stormz 10298 of Camarillo, along with Monrovia’s Hippie Bots 9512 from Clifton Middle School.  That alliance went on to win a series of hard-fought matches and overcome a variety of mechanical failures to become the champion of their division, and finally to emerge as the competition champion alliance!  This secured for the Kings and Queens and for the Hippie Bots slots to advance to the World Championships.

What the team has accomplished is remarkable and puts them in the elite of all the FTC teams in the world… but they won't be able to go to Houston and show what they can do without you.  Monrovia’s robotics team needs your help to get the team to the competition!  The cost to send the Kings And Queens and their robot “Sir Gawain” to Houston is over $15,000 for the entry fee, airfares, hotel, materials and shipping costs for the robot.  Any donation, large or small, will help toward that goal.

Please help with whatever you can.  The Kings and Queens have helped shine a spotlight on Monrovia as a place where great things happen and great people live, and showed that our students are second to none.  They have encouraged countless young people to pursue their interests in science and engineering through their outreach efforts in the Monrovia community.  And they have truly helped lived up to the Monrovia High School's motto “The Home of Scholars and Champions.”  Help us spread that message to the entire robotics community.

Please make an individual donation through their GoFundMe page (and remember… all donations are tax deductible through our financial sponsor the MHS Math and Science Academy Boosters, a 501c3 entity!).

Also of note… if your business or organization would like to make a larger donation of $500 or more and become a corporate sponsor of the robot, you can have your name and logo featured on Sir Gawain and in the team booth at the event!  For those inquiries, please contact the robotics team directly.

So come on Monrovia… let’s rally behind our kids as they get set to take on the world!!!


Friends Of The Monrovia Public Library Annual Bookmark Contest Is Here!

The Friends of the Monrovia Public Library are sponsoring their annual Bookmark Contest, which began on March 13.  Entry forms are available at the Customer Service Desks at the Library and on the City website.  The contest is open to artists of all ages and entry forms can be turned into the Youth Reference Desk by Saturday, April 13, by 5:00 p.m.  Winners will be notified by April 27.  The winning bookmark entries will be printed and available for all to enjoy just in time for Summer Reading.  The Friends of the Monrovia Public Library support library programs and collections through donations, the Friends Bookstore, and book sales.  If you would like to learn more about the Friends or join this worthwhile organization visit their website or stop by the bookstore at the Library.

Entry Form - English Entry Form - Spanish


Southern California Edison Engaged In Ongoing Repair Work Here In Town For The Remainder Of 2019

In response to the devastating wild fires in Southern California recently, Southern California Edison has been coordinating with City staff on scheduling high priority repairs related to fire safety which will take place over the next 9 months.  SCE staff has identified a number of needed repairs to their infrastructure citywide, ranging from replacing conductors, cross-arms, cabling, anchoring poles, pole replacement, or simple miscellaneous repairs.  Each of these needed repairs has been given a priority level designation (1-3) with 3 being the highest priority repair.

To date, SCE staff has identified approximately 200 Tier 3 repairs that need to be completed by May 31 in their designated high fire zone.  In addition to the Tier 3 repairs, SCE staff has identified an additional 350 Tier 2 and Tier 1 repairs that need to be completed by the end of the year (December 31).  In total, that means SCE will be repairing approximately 550 various pieces of equipment throughout town over the next 9 months.  Public Works staff is coordinating with SCE staff on permitting, scheduling of work, and ultimately coordination that helps SCE complete their interim and final completion dates.  Because of the volume of work, this will likely mean that SCE will be working seven days a week between now and the end of May to meet the first interim completion date for Tier 3 repairs.

SCE will be sending out mailers, door knockers, and other notification letters to the residents in the impacted areas in advance of the work.  Additional notification will be required when SCE needs access to private property as well as additional notification that results in any temporary power outages.  If there are any questions regarding SCE’s activity, please visit SCE’s website. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to call Public Works at (626) 932-5575.


Women’s History Month Being Celebrated At The Monrovia Public Library All Through The Month Of March!

We wanted to let everyone know that March is Women’s History Month, and we’re celebrating the occasion at the Monrovia Public Library!  Make sure you stop by in March to enjoy the many ways we are celebrating Women’s History Month, with interactive activities, trivia, and lots of fun! Also, don’t forget to test your WHM knowledge in the Youth Services Area with our wall of trivia, and while you’re at it, make sure to take a picture in front of the Wonder Woman display in the Library Lobby where you can celebrate the Wonder Women in your life.  If you have any questions, please contact the Monrovia Public Library at (626) 256-8274!

Celebrating WomenWomen's History Month 2019


Monrovia Renewal Is Underway In The North Section!

Monrovia Renewal construction activities in the north are in full swing! The North Section includes all areas located north of, and including Hillcrest Boulevard, Grand Avenue, and Greystone Avenue. This week, Sully Miller Contracting will be working on mainline sewer repairs on Cloverleaf Drive, water main repairs on Norumbega Drive and Melrose Avenue, and manhole base repairs and concrete work in various locations.

Construction Notices
We will do our best to minimize the impacts on residents.  Sully Miller will deliver notices to all residents in the impacted area(s) prior to work taking place. The notices will outline the work taking place, a schedule overview, and information on associated impacts, such as parking restrictions and driveway access:

  1. Initial Notice - This notice will be distributed approximately one week prior to work commencing.
  2. Two Day Notice - A final notice will be provided two days before the activity begins to serve as a reminder of the upcoming work and associated impacts.

In addition, parking notices will be posted in the areas where parking will be impacted. During these activities, there will be intermittent road closures and parking restrictions. Streets and driveways may be inaccessible for intermittent periods during the day but will be accessible every night.

We recognize that construction can be messy and inconvenient, and thank you for your cooperation and patience as we work through these improvements!  For more information on what work will be happening on your street and general inquiries about the Monrovia Renewal project, please contact the Public Works Division at (626) 932-5575 or email the Monrovia Renewal Project Team.  In addition, you can visit the Monrovia Renewal webpage for all the latest project news and updates. View the map below to see what road work improvements are coming to your street!

Monrovia Renewal North Section Map


Monrovia Renewal South Area Street Improvements – Week Of March 25!

This week, Sequel Contractors will be working on various punch list items including stripping, installing speed bumps, and performing clean up in various locations throughout the South section. Sequel will continue with these activities in the coming weeks.

We appreciate your patience and support while we work to execute these improvements throughout our community!  If you have any questions about the Monrovia Renewal Project, please feel free to contact Public Works at (626) 932-5575 or email the Monrovia Renewal Project Team.  We recognize that construction can be messy and inconvenient, and we appreciate your patience through this process!


AT&T Conducting Manhole Infrastructure Improvements Throughout Town The Week Of April 1

Starting the week of Monday, April 1 through Friday, April 5, AT&T will be conducting an audit of 24 manholes and their existing infrastructure to test the capacity of their fiber-optic lines.  The proposed manholes are spread throughout town including locations on: 5th Avenue, W. Chestnut, S. Mayflower, S. Primrose, Huntington Drive, Mountain Avenue, and Royal Oaks Drive.  Each location takes approximately 45 minutes to one hour.  There will be some minor traffic control measures at each location as they are conduct their work. If you have any questions, please contact Public Works at 626-932-5575.


Take Precaution Against Mosquitos And Tip N’ Toss All Stagnant Water

With the rainy season wrapping up, we wanted to remind everyone to TIP N’ TOSS all stagnant water! Did you know mosquitoes lay their eggs in containers that have stagnant water? Once laid, mosquitoes can grow from eggs to flying adults in about 7 days! Here’s what you can do to eliminate those pesky mosquitoes: 

For more information on how you can protect you and your family from mosquitoes and the diseases that they carry, visit the San Gabriel Valley Mosquito & Vector Control District online.


Revised GoMonrovia Service Area To Take Effect On April 1 – Unincorporated LA County Areas Will Be Removed Due To Changes Instituted By LA County

Recently, LA County transportation officials notified the City that they will be opting out of the on-demand Lyft portion of our GoMonrovia transportation program.  As we have shared previously, to account for all of the rides being generated in the unincorporated portions of our GoMonrovia service area, LA County would need to provide an additional $750,000 - $1 million / year in new funding.  Staff was informed by LA County that after consulting with Supervisor Barger, they have made the decision to only have the City provide ADA dial-a-ride services for the unincorporated areas surrounding Monrovia.

As of April 1, this means that any Lyft ride that originates or ends in the unincorporated LA County area will no longer be eligible for the GoMonrovia subsidy pricing program.  In addition to changes in the LA County service area, we are also working on finalizing a few other program modifications, including:

  • Establish a new Bradbury fee for service contract which will maintain the provision of GoMonrovia services for their community, while taking into account 100% full cost recovery for the services provided by Monrovia.
  • For our dial-a-ride program, we have assessed call volumes and service demands, and we believe that we can make the overall ADA operation more efficient by transitioning from larger scale vans down to smaller scale van.  This transition will save us around $3.29 / revenue hour of service, based primarily on the fact that the larger scale vans are more expensive to operate (and require a Class B license to drive).  In addition, the smaller scale vehicles are easier to maneuver, and given the relatively smaller ADA population we are serving (around 60 – 70 customers total), the transition should make the service being provided to our ADA customer base more effective.

Once all of the above program components have been instituted, staff will coordinate one final review of the overall cost structure for the GoMonrovia program, and any necessary Lyft per-ride pricing changes will be brought forward for City Council review in April / May. As a reminder, as of February 2019, rides on Lyft using the GoMonrovia promo code cost:

  • $0.50 Shared ride for any ride to / from Old Town and the Gold Line Station
  • $1.00 Shared ride anywhere else in the service area
  • $3.50 Classic ride anywhere in the service area

Those applying the GOMONROVIA code to their phone for the very first time will get default access to the $1.00 / Shared ride option until the first of the following month, when they will get access to all three pricing options. Users who would like access to the $0.50 Old Town/Gold Line Shared ride option and $3.50 / Classic ride sooner can email the City for assistance or call (626) 256-8234. The email should include your Lyft account information (phone number or email address). The pricing options can be applied to your account within 1-2 business days.


GoMonrovia Program Update – New Registration Requirement For Call-In Lyft Dispatch Services Now In Effect

During the past several months, the City has continued to refine our GoMonrovia program, and based on recent developments, effective March 18, anyone looking to book a GoMonrovia Lyft ride by calling in to the dispatch center will be required to have pre-registered with the City for the service.

Please note… this new registration requirement will only be for those that access the Lyft program through the dial-in telephone number (which staff refers to as the Lyft Concierge service).

Also of note… anyone who accesses the GoMonrovia program through their smartphone will not be impacted by this program adjustment, and those program users will be able to continue accessing the program as they have been doing so previously with no interruption.

The new registration requirement for call-in Lyft dispatch services is being instituted to improve billing processes and to combat underage program use.  As you may know, pursuant to our current program design, riders must be 18 years of age or older to ride Lyft.  Based on various reports, we have heard that there may be GoMonrovia program abuse by underage riders who are using the Concierge service.  By requiring pre-registration, we can cut back on abuse, while also simplifying billing procedures for those who ride GoMonrovia by calling for a Lyft ride.

We’ve developed a simple and easy to use form for registration, and details related to the registration process are outlined below:

  • How to Register
    • Download and complete the Lyft Concierge Application, including the credit card authorization form, and return to the Community Center.  A copy of the registration form has been included below for your reference.
    • Once you have been notified that your application was approved, you may call (626) 358-3538 to book a ride with Lyft over the telephone.
    • Charges for your rides will be charged at the end of each month, and a monthly receipt for the amount charged to your credit card will be emailed to you.
    • Please note that trips may only be booked that start and end in the GoMonrovia service area.
    • For more information, please call (626) 256-8234.

Lyft Concierge App - FrontLyft Concierge App - Back


10th Annual Monrovia Area Partnership (MAP) Neighborhood Conference Set To Take Place On April 6, Come For The Free Lunch, And Stay For The Knowledge!

The City is excited to share that 10th Annual Monrovia Area Partnership (MAP) Neighborhood Conference will be taking place on Saturday, April 6, at Second Baptist Church (925 South Shamrock Avenue, Monrovia), from 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.!   The event is free and is open to all residents and the entire community, and we hope that you think about participating in this signature community event.

The MAP Neighborhood Conference is designed to provide residents and MAP participants with information about important topics occurring in Monrovia.  Our goal is to provide residents with the tools they need to help shape the City into the type of community they want to live in.  To that end, we have a variety of conference breakout sessions this year, including:

  • Information about our Neighborhood Treasures program
  • Reviewing upcoming development projects in Monrovia
  • De-escalation simulations with the Monrovia PD
  • Celebrating Monrovia’s rich history
  • Active shooter training
  • Monrovia Renewal infrastructure project updates
  • AND MUCH MORE!

In addition to the sessions that have been developed, the City will also be providing a free lunch, donated by supportive local restaurants including Wendy’s, Jersey Mike’s, and Tommy Burgers.  After lunch, which will also feature our key note speaker, Michael Pointer, Sr., there will be health screenings and an information fair, including various screenings and information from local organizations (Baldwin Park Housing Authority, City Departments, Volunteer Center of San Gabriel Valley, and Farm Fresh to You to name a few).  We’ll also be raffling off some great prizes!

We invite everyone to join us for this event as we combine each of our life experiences and celebrate our neighborhoods together! Check out our commercial, and sign up to join us now by clicking here.

In addition, you can follow MAP on Facebook, contact City staff for more information via email, or (626) 932-5563 by phone.

 

Front of FlyerBack of Flyer

 


SGVCOG Set To Host The 2019 General Assembly On April 10, From 8:30 A.M. – 1:30 P.M. At The Pacific Palms Resort

The SGVCOG will be presenting its 2019 General Assembly on April 10, from 8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. at the Pacific Palms Resort.  The event will bring together elected officials, city staff, and community leaders to address the future of the San Gabriel Valley.  Additionally, the General Assembly will highlight regional partnerships and efforts to develop sustainable solutions in addressing key challenges facing the region, including transportation, homelessness, and the environment. 

The event will take place on Wednesday, April 10, 2019 from 8:30am to 1:30pm at the Pacific Palms Resort in the City of Industry.  Individuals/groups can purchase tickets on the Eventbrite here.  Those who wish to pay by check or invoice can contact SGVCOG staff directly.  Additional information on speakers and panelists can be found here


Monrovia Community Garden Informational Meeting Scheduled For Saturday, April 13

As you may have heard, the Monrovia Community Garden Pilot Program is set to launch this summer!  In partnership with Mountainside Communion, the garden will take shape at the North-West corner of Colorado Boulevard and Magnolia Avenue (303 West Colorado Boulevard), incorporating private raised beds for rent, educational workshops, community engagement, and public demonstration gardens for all of the community to enjoy.

We anticipate that the new Monrovia Community Garden facility will be ready for use in May / June, and we’re now taking applications from those interested in reserving private raised beds.  The application form, along with additional information, can be downloaded from the Monrovia Community Garden website.

Want to learn more about applying for a garden plot or participating in a gardening workshop? Please join us for an informational meeting on Saturday, April 13, in the Library Community Room from 9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.  You can also follow the building progress and updates on Facebook and Instagram.

Community Garden Flyer


Buy Your Tickets For The 3rd Annual Old Town Wine Walk On April 13

The Monrovia Old Town Advisory Board is pleased to announce the launch of the 3rd Annual Old Town Monrovia Wine Walk, scheduled on April 13, 2019, from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.!  The goal of this event is to highlight Old Town Monrovia businesses while supporting our local community.  Participants attending this unique event will be invited to stroll through Old Town, exploring each business, and sampling the various wine offerings while also enjoying acoustic performances throughout Old Town. This year we are also encouraging folks to support Old Town Merchants by spending $100 in Old Town in one shopping/dining experience and receive two pre-sale tickets for $35 each. This is a savings of $10! (Receipts must be presented when purchasing tickets from the Community Center, 3 Beauty Bar, Charlie's House, PrimeLending, Sauté, or Sunday's Old Town Bistro to receive discount.)

Event Details

  • Sip: Most participating businesses will be serving both red and white wine tastings.
  • Shop: While exploring our beautiful Old Town, participants will have a chance to shop and learn more about what the merchants in Old Town have to offer.
  • Support: Each participant will receive 12 one-ounce wine samples. Event proceeds will help offset for the cost of the event while also giving back to the community. Visit us online to purchase tickets!

Wine Walk 2019


Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District Spring 2019 Workshops – Free And Open To The Public!

Just in time for Spring, the Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District is hosting a number of workshops on a variety of workshops, including turf removal, leak detection, and drought tolerant landscaping and design concepts! These workshops are free and open to the public, however registration is required.

  • Turf Removal (English)
    • DATE: Tuesday, March 26, 2019
    • TIME: 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm 
    • LOCATION: Community Center, Cougar Park, 150 West Puente St., Covina, CA 91723
    • Informational Flyer
  • California Friendly Landscape Training (Spanish)
    • DATE: Wednesday, April 10, 2019 
    • TIME: 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
    • LOCATION: Esther Snyder Community Center, Meeting Room #1, 4100 Baldwin Park Blvd., Baldwin Park, CA 91706
    • Informational Flyer
  • Garden Design Concepts (English)
    • DATE: Tuesday, April 23, 2019
    • TIME: 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
    • LOCATION: Hacienda Heights Community and Recreation Center, 1234 Valencia Ave., Hacienda Heights, CA 91745
    • Informational Flyer
  • Garden Design Applications (English)
    • DATE: Thursday, May 2, 2019 
    • TIME: 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
    • LOCATION: Duarte Community Center, 1600 Huntington Drive, Duarte, CA 91010
    • Informational Flyer

The City of Monrovia is a partner agency with the Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District. For more information on these workshops, and other water conservation programs and events, please visit the City’s Water Conservation webpage or the Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District.


Save The Date: Disco Fundraiser For Mayflower Elementary School On April 27 At Santa Anita Golf Course

Dust off your boogie shoes and bell-bottoms for the disco fundraiser benefiting the kids at Mayflower Elementary! This adults-only event will include dinner, a silent auction, and dancing.  All are encouraged to dress the part and get ready to groove on April 27, from 6:00 p.m. -10:00 p.m. The event will be held at the Santa Anita Golf Course at 405 South Anita Avenue.

Ticket prices are $50 / person or $85 / couple and can be purchased online. Sponsorships and volunteer opportunities are also available.  For more information or to learn how you can donate or support Mayflower PTA, visit the Mayflower PTA Facebook page, email them directly or call (760) 908-8058.

Mayflower PTA Disco


Register For Classes Starting March 18 By Browsing The New Spring Edition Of Monrovia Today!

The new flipbook version of the Monrovia Today, which allows you to search using key words and uses live links to get you to the pages you want even quicker, has been hugely popular!!  Even better…users are able to click on any class and be redirected to our RecPro class registration system in Recreation to register in just a few easy clicks!   We’re very excited to showcase all of the amazing programs, services, and events that will be in our community this summer, and hope you’ll like it as much as we do! Take a look at the latest happenings in Monrovia and register for classes by visiting the City's Website: Monrovia Today Activity Guide.

Monrovia Today - Spring 2019 Cover


Register Now For New Youth Sports Program: Co-Ed Flag Football & Cheer!

Registration is now open for the NEW Youth Sports Program featuring Flag Football & Cheer!  The program focuses on skill development and promotes physical activity and teamwork in an engaging and supportive environment.  Key program details include the following:

  • Eligibility: Open to 4th and 5th grade boys and girls
  • Location: Recreation Park (843 E. Olive Avenue)
  • Practices: Tuesday / Thursdays from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. or 7:00 – 8:00 p.m.
  • Games: Saturday Mornings
  • Fee: $35 (Monrovia resident & MUSD student) / $40 (non-resident)

Should you have any questions about the Youth Sports Program, please do not hesitate to contact the Monrovia Community Center at (626) 256-8246.

Youth Sports 2019 - Flag Football and Cheer Flyer


Monrovia Dial-A-Ride – ADA Registration Became Mandatory Starting March 1

Speaking of GoMonrovia, I wanted to let everyone know that we are pressing forward and making good progress on the transition of our dial-a-ride vans to a closed ADA system, where riders will have to get pre-registered in order to access the vans.  Of course, all ambulatory, non-ADA customers have the option of utilizing Lyft for their public transportation needs.

Based on our progress to date, starting in February, the City will be requiring that individuals be pre-registered with the City in order to use our ADA vans.  That pre-registration process requires that passengers provide proof of their ADA needs through simple certifications (doctor certification, DMV notice, or other proof of ADA need).  We plan on utilizing February as a transitional period, though, and no customer will be turned away from service during the month.  However, as we hit March 1, we will be mandating that advance certifications be obtained prior to dispatching our ADA vans for passenger pick-up.

To register for these services, please fill out the short, one-page application and sign the accompanying waiver.  You can find the application on the City’s website in English or in Spanish.

Monrovia Transit Changes Effective February 1 2019Monrovia Transit Changes Effective February 2019 Flyer in Spanish

 


This Week’s Happenings At The Monrovia Public Library!

The Monrovia Public Library is a special community gathering place that makes a difference in the lives of children, teens, adults, and families of all kinds.  Experience all that the Library has to offer by visiting us in person at 321 S. Myrtle Avenue, and if you have any questions, contact the Library at (626) 256-8274!

2019 Spring Youth Services Programs are here!
Interested in all the youth services taking place at the Library this Spring? Then browse the flyer below and stop by the Library for some fun!

 Programs for Youth Spring2019 YS Spring Programming

Homework Help
Pro-active Tutoring provides pre-screened tutors at no cost to library patrons. Tutors assist students from grades K to 8 in subjects such as math, language arts and reading. No registration required.

  • Every Monday and Tuesday, during the school year, 4:00 – 5:00 p.m., Library Story Room

Novel T's Book Club
Join us on the fourth Tuesday of every month for a lively book discussion featuring a new facilitator each month. Book Club meets in the Library Community Room at 6:30 with snacks.

  • Tuesday, March 26, 6:30 - 7:45 p.m., Library Community Room

Imagination Station
For ages 4 years through 2nd grade. Using toys, props, and creative arts, participants can be transported to another world through imaginative play. Join us for fun activities like: Store/Restaurant, Vet Clinic, Emergency, and City!

  • Wednesday, March 27, 4:00 - 4:45 p.m., Library Story Room

Conversation Groups @ Monrovia Public Library
Culture and Conversation: Practice speaking English by discussing and reading the ‘News for You’ weekly newspaper in a friendly and relaxed setting. Build confidence in your work, school, family and social life. For more information, call (626) 256-8273 or email vcastellanos@ci.monrovia.ca.us

  • Every Wednesday, 6:00 – 7:30 p.m., Library Heritage Room

Speak Easy: Join us for round-table talking and practice speaking English in a friendly and relaxed setting. New topics weekly, including: popular culture, work and jobs, health, and more. Build confidence in your work, school, family, and social life.

Ebooks & Digital Magazines are Available 24/7
Check out an ebook or listen to an audiobook on your commute using Overdrive’s Libby app. If you have little ones, visit TumbleBooks, where you’ll find digital copies of popular picture books and chapter books for kids. We also have digital magazines from RBdigital, including some of your favorite titles like Rolling Stone, Popular Mechanics, Martha Stewart Living, Highlights, National Geographic, Newsweek, and so much more! All free with your Monrovia Library Card. Just follow the link to learn more. 


Have A Drought Tolerant Yard And Want To Show It Off? Apply Now For The New City Sustainable Landscaping Recognition Award!

The City is always looking for new ways to promote water conservation throughout the community.  To this end, staff has launched a sustainable landscape recognition award program, whereby winners will be recognized by the City and receive a $25 credit on their water utility bill!

Help promote water conservation by showcasing sustainable landscaping!  Through this new program, residential water customers of the City of Monrovia may enter their sustainable landscape for a chance to be recognized by the City.  Applicants may also nominate a neighbor's sustainable landscape.

In addition to being recognized by the City, winners will receive a $25 credit on their water utility bill!  To enter in this program:

  • Applicants must be a City of Monrovia residential water utility customer.
  • The drought-tolerant area should be in the front yard visible from the street.
  • No more than 50% of your landscape should be turf.
  • No more than 30% of your landscape should be non-permeable, such as concrete.

Apply Now

Complete an application online or alternatively, feel free to fill out and return a paper application.

For more information about this new program, water conservation, and how you can help, please contact (626) 303-6601.

 

Sustainable Landscape Recognition Award


Key Links & Help Keep Monrovia Beautiful:


Interesting Story Of The Week – Southeast Asian Porcupines Are Being Poached To The Point Of Extinction... For Their Stomach Contents?!?!?!

Every once in a while, you come across a story that just makes you wonder.  Our interesting story of the week comes to us from National Geographic, which reports that porcupines in Southeast Asian countries are being hunted to the point of extinction. 

And the reason that the animals are being hunted?

“Porcupines are being hunted for onion-shaped masses of undigested plant material in their gut known as bezoars.”

Yup… porcupines are being killed so that people can extract – and eat – undigested food in their stomach.

Porcupines 1

Now it appears that demand for the bezoars is being driven by China, where some (well… many, I guess) believe that the half-digested plant material has medicinal uses, including “the ability to cure diabetes, dengue fever, and cancer.”

The only problem with that thought is that there is no scientific evidence that bezoars contain any curative properties.

Porcupines 2

To read more about this very prickly and thorny story, please click here!


Police Department's Weekly Neighborhood Watch Report

The Police Department’s weekly neighborhood watch report for the period March 14 - March 20, 2019, has been included for your review and reference.  During the last seven-day period, the Police Department handled 446 service events, resulting in 90 investigations. 

A copy of the report can be found at the following link: Weekly Neighborhood Watch Report

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