City Manager's Update: June 4, 2019
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 email@example.com!
And of course… all the best to you and yours as we continue through this week!
Quote of the Week
You should know I'm never gonna change, I'm always gonna stay
- Ariana Grande
Police Department Annual Awards Ceremony Set For June 13 At 4:00 P.M.
Just a quick note to remind everyone that we’ll hosting our annual Police Department Annual Awards Ceremony on Thursday, June 13, 2019, at 4:00 p.m., in the City Council Chambers at City Hall. During the ceremony, we will be recognizing Police Officer Rosendo Ramos III as he is presented with a Distinguished Service Medal. A cake and punch reception will follow immediately afterwards in the Police Department Community Policing Room. We look forward to seeing everyone at the event!
Voting In L.A. County Is Modernizing In 2020 – Learn More On June 6, 6 P.M. At Second Baptist Church!
Monrovia Area Partnership (MAP) and the Monrovia City Clerk’s Office have partnered up with the Los Angeles County Registrar-Record/County Clerk’s Office to host an upcoming community meeting for the Vote Center Placement Project on Thursday, June 6 at 6PM, to be held at the Second Baptist Church.
As part of the County’s initiative known as Voting Solutions for All People, one of the biggest changes is the implementation of Vote Centers, which will replace traditional polling places. With Vote Centers, LA County voters will have the freedom to cast a ballot in-person at any vote center in the county for many days leading up to the election, instead of being tied to a single polling location on election day. There will also be 250 Ballot Drop-Off locations for 30 days leading up to the election for vote by mail ballots. In addition, the County will be implementing new voting equipment designed by LA County voters to meet all of their needs, including full language services and expanded accessibility.
As part of the Vote Center Placement project, 2,000 potential vote center locations have been identified, and the next phase is to narrow that down to 1,000 vote center locations. The meeting on June 6 is an opportunity for our community, and those surrounding communities, to learn more about the changes coming in 2020, and to provide important feedback on the proposed locations. We look forward to seeing everyone on June 6 at Second Baptist Church! If you have any questions, please contact our City Clerk’s Office at 626.932.5505. You can also register to attend the event here.
Lucinda Garcia Park Enhancement Outreach Plan Now In Effect, Special Community Meeting Scheduled For June 15 At 9:00 A.M.
During the past month, staff has been working on a preparing a grant application to fund improvements at Lucinda Garcia Park. This effort has been undertaken in response to the State of California issuing a notice of funding availability regarding funds to be distributed via Proposition 68, the State Park Bond Program, and applications are due August 5.
As part of our grant application efforts, this past Thursday, May 30, staff hosted a Pop-Up Outreach Event at the entrance of Lucinda Garcia Park in an effort to gather feedback from families picking up students from Monroe Elementary School about possible improvements at the park. We heard from 24 families (about 50 individuals), all of whom were enthusiastic about the possibility of renovating Lucinda Garcia Park. During those conversations, we heard several reoccurring themes about the possible upgrade – update the playground with slides and monkey bars; include swings for bigger kids; install safer playground surfacing; install a new smooth and safe walking path; and install new drinking fountains.
During the Pop-Up Outreach Event, we also started advertising the fact that we will be hosting a Community Meeting on June 15 to further explore the potential enhancements at Lucinda Garcia Park. Additional information about the meeting can be found in the flyer included below:
In addition, staff will also be coordinating additional community outreach regarding this effort in the weeks ahead, including the following:
- On Saturday, June 8, staff will be conducting door to door outreach to the neighbors living adjacent to Lucinda Garcia Park to personally invite them to the Community Meeting, and to gather their feedback regarding possible improvements to the park.
- On Thursday, June 13, at 6:00 pm, staff will be hosting a special meeting of the Community Services Commission at Lucinda Garcia Park, which will provide an opportunity for the Commission to walk the park facility and provide feedback to staff as it relates to the proposed enhancements.
We’ll be sure to keep everyone up to date about our progress in the weeks ahead.
Monrovia Community Garden Pilot Program Is Making Significant Progress!!! And Save The Date – Community Garden Ribbon Cutting Set For July 20 @ 9:00 A.M.
Over the past few months, the Monrovia Community Garden Pilot Program has been making tremendous progress on developing a new community garden program for Monrovia. In fact, if you have driven by 303 W. Colorado Boulevard recently, you may have seen that the majority of construction is now complete for all of the garden beds, including:
- Installation of individual irrigation for each garden bed
- Organic soil being placed into each plot
- Establishment of the demonstration garden
- Installation the permanent fencing
- Fruit trees have started to bear fruit
- Installation of the decomposed granite pathways
Given all of the work that has been completed to date, the program is now nearly ready for program participants to start their gardening activities! And we are so pleased to also be able to share that the City has had tremendous interest from individuals wanting to participate in the program!
We accepted applications for use of private garden beds through May 17, 2019, and we received a total of 27 applications for the 21 available private garden plots. The team then evaluated each application based on the following established community garden program criteria:
- Access to open space / high density housing
- High interest in the program and date of application submittal
- Wide geographic representation of Monrovia
- Interest in overall program as expressed in the application
Based on that review, 21 potential garden program participants have been contacted and have been invited to attend one of two orientation meetings that will be coordinated in June. Once the gardeners have attended the training program, they will be able to start planting! In addition, the six individuals on the waitlist have also been contacted and invited to participate in upcoming workshop and training programs.
Moving ahead, the City has planned to host a formal Ribbon Cutting event to commemorate the Monrovia Community Garden project on Saturday, July 20 at 9:00 a.m. We invite the entire community to come and celebrate the establishment of this particular program.
In addition, as part of the Community Garden program, the City will be coordinating gardening educational workshops throughout the year, and all of these workshops will be free and open to the public. The first of these workshops will be held on Saturday, July 27 at 9:00 a.m., and will be focused on Veggie Gardening 101.
Summer Reading Kick-Off Party Set To Take Place On June 8, From 12 P.M. – 4 P.M. At The Monrovia Library!
Everyone get set for a summer of reading fun being coordinated by our terrific Monrovia Public Library team! You don’t want to miss our 'Backyard Party' in Library Park, set to take place on Saturday, June 8, 2019, from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.!
There will be fun for all ages in the park and throughout the library all day long. From fort building to a paper airplane contest for the kids… and karaoke and DIY summer crafts for the adults… there’s going to be something for everyone, and you won’t want to miss this event! For additional details, please see the flyer below, or visit us online.
Monrovia Renewal North Area Road Work Construction Activities To Begin In June
We are so excited to share with the community that the City’s contractor, Sully-Miller, will begin street reconstruction work in the North Section of Monrovia Renewal on June 3! Residents in the area that will be directly impacted by the work should have received some notifications from the contractor over the past several days.
The planned street improvement work includes micro-surfacing, asphalt overlays, and full street reconstruction activities. At this time, work will begin with pulverization of the streets that are being fully reconstructed and work on the asphalt overlay streets will follow shortly thereafter.
The Schedule for upcoming street improvements is as follows:
Pulverizing / Street Reconstruction will take place on:
- Madison Avenue
- Crescent Drive
- El Nido Avenue
- Scenic Drive from Highland to Heather Heights
- Scenic Drive from Magnolia to Myrtle
- Heather Heights Court
- Lotone Street
- Cloverleaf Drive
- Stedman Place
As outlined in the step by step overview below, these streets will be:
- Pulverized: June 3 - June 7
- Grading and Material Removal: June 6 - June 11
- Paving: June 13 - June 18*
- In these sections, Base Paving and Cap Paving (total of 4") will be completed in one day.
Grind and Overlay Streets will include:
- Magnolia Avenue
- Patterson Drive
- Terrace View Estates
As outlined in the step by step overview below, these streets will be:
- Grinding: June 12 - 13
- Paving: June 19 - 20
The schedule for the remaining street areas will be shared prior to work taking place in those areas.
Overview of Street Reconstruction Process and Impacts:
As part of the complete reconstruction, the streets will be pulverized to dirt in a multiple step process:
- Day 1: A machine will pulverize the existing roadway surface 10” deep to create new base material. This dirt material will be rolled and compacted to be driven upon.
- Day 2: A couple of days later, crews will return with large machines to remove 4” of the pulverized material. This dirt material will, again, be rolled and compacted to be driven upon.
- Days 3 & 4: After the material has been removed, crews will return to pave new asphalt on the street. Paving will be completed in 2 – 2” sections on two different days. We anticipate approximately 2 weeks between the initial layer of asphalt being paved and the final cap paving.
*Although this process will take approximately 4 working days for each street section, there might be downtime between each phase meaning that the entire process might take a couple of weeks.
During this process, it is important to remember:
- Although many streets will be turned to dirt, vehicles may still access the street (except for intermittent periods during active construction).
- There will be parking restrictions in place during work hours however vehicles will be permitted to park on the street at the end of working days. PLEASE ADHERE TO ALL POSTED PARKING RESTRICTIONS.
- Driveways will be accessible every night; however access may be limited during daytime work activities.
- Pulverized streets may remain dirt streets for up to three weeks
The project area map below indicates the specific road work that will take place on each street. More details on the upcoming road work for Monrovia Renewal will be included in future updates, including dates and specific street locations. We appreciate your patience and support while we work to execute these improvements throughout our community!
If you have any questions regarding Monrovia Renewal, please feel free to contact Public Works at (626) 932-5575 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additional Monrovia Renewal North Area Improvements - Updates For The Week Of June 3
Monrovia Renewal construction activities in the North section will continue this week. Monrovia Renewal construction activities in the North section will continue this week. Sully Miller Contracting will:
- Continue water main repairs on:
- Norumbega Drive
- Greystone Avenue
- Prospect Avenue (6/10)
- Concrete work will continue on:
- Hillcrest Boulevard
- Cloverleaf Way
- Seymour Place
- Todd Lane
- Ivy Way
- Highland Place
- Scenic Drive
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:
- Initial Notice - This notice will be distributed approximately one week prior to work commencing.
- 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!
Station Square Bandshell To Get Facelift For Summer
This upcoming week, the City’s Public Works team will be engaged in an effort to repaint the band shell at Station Square Park to get it ready for all of the summer activities that are scheduled. Crews anticipate the painting will take 4-5 days and the impact to park patrons should be minimal. Coupled with the recently completed turf improvements in the area, Station Square should be looking great for all of the planned summer activities!
Warriors Art Evening Paint Fundraiser Set For June 20 At 6:30 P.M. At The Monrovia VFW Site (825 South Magnolia Avenue), All Funds Raised Will Be Donated To The VFW To Repair The Facility Roof!
Everyone get ready for a terrific Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) fundraiser, set for June 20 at 6:30 p.m. Being called a Warriors Art Evening, participants will be able to paint (or watch others paint) in an art session led by Veteran and artist Wadvin Alfaro. The $26 fee will include painting or spectating, and a cheeseburger and fries dinner is be included as part of the fee. Drinks will be sold separately. Please register online, and come on out to support our Vets and our local VFW!
City Outlines Proposed Spending Plan Associated With The Proposed Sales Tax Measure And Looks To Call For A Special Election At The June 4 City Council Meeting
Over the past few months, staff has coordinated more than a dozen outreach meetings to discuss the possibility of calling for a special election in November 2019 for our community to consider a sales tax increase. While the response from most of our community members has been generally positive, the question most asked was, “What will the City do with the $4.5 million / year generated if the sales tax measure is successful?”
At the May 7 Council Meeting, staff prepared a study session for City Council and the public to go over the Sales Tax Measure in addition to presenting a proposed spending plan.
The proposed spending plan focused on pursuing local aspirational priority projects that have been put on hold due to lack of funding. The proposed spending plan developed for consideration focuses on the following general fund priorities:
- Achieve a AAA Rating
- Fund an upgrade to the City’s Community Center
- Give money back to residents by lowering the monthly municipal services bill
- Continue to invest in capital upgrades, including parks, facilities and infrastructure
- Set a fixed amount of money aside for community priorities, such as affordable housing, community based organizations, and schools.
These items were discussed in greater detail at the May 29 Budget Study Session with the City Council, where they approved the proposed timeline to call for the special election at our June 4, 2019 meeting. Additional details regarding the proposed spending plan and sales tax initiative can be found online.
Moving ahead, if the City Council does vote to place the sales tax measure on the ballot, staff will continue to reach out to various community groups to gather additional feedback, and as the spending plan continues to develop, staff will continue to keep everyone apprised of any new information.
New GoMonrovia Pricing Structure To Take Effect On June 1 – $2.50 Shared Rides, $5.00 Classic Rides, And Always Just $0.50 For The Gold Line And Old Town Monrovia!
On Tuesday, April 16, the City Council held a Study Session to review the progress being made with the GoMonrovia Lyft Stabilization Plan that the Council authorized in December 2018. Multiple levers were included in the plan to adjust to help make the GoMonrovia program financially sustainable in the long term. These levers have included implementing new prices as of February 2019, as well as new registration requirements for Monrovia Transit for ADA riders and Lyft Concierge for call-in dispatch services in February / March 2019. Additionally, LA County opted out of participating in the on-demand Lyft portion of the GoMonrovia program, so the unincorporated LA County areas adjacent to Monrovia were removed from the service area starting April 1. To learn more details about the changes highlighted above, please visit the website.
Together, these changes have certainly made a difference in improving the ongoing expenses of running the GoMonrovia program. However, as staff shared with the City Council in the Study Session, the program still faces a program budget deficit. Due to this deficit, additional program adjustments will be needed to bring GoMonrovia costs in-line with available revenues.
To that end, at their May 21 meeting, the City Council approved the following program adjustments:
- Institute a price shift of $1.50 for shared and regular rides.
- $0.50 Shared ride for any ride to / from Old Town and the Gold Line Station. Of note, the pricing for this trip would not be impacted.
- $2.50 Shared ride anywhere else in the service area
- $5.00 Classic ride anywhere in the service area
Additionally, the City Council directed staff to evaluate making trips to hospitals only $0.50 as well. Staff will be working with Lyft in the following days to implement these changes that will take effect on June 1.
Monrovia Fire & Rescue To Host Free Hands-Only CPR Training On “Sidewalk CPR Day” June 6
Monrovia Fire & Rescue will provide free hands-only CPR training on Sidewalk CPR Day, Thursday, June 6, at Library Park from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Every year, communities across Southern California learn how to save a life in just five minutes with a quick lesson from local firefighters and medical professionals through the coordinated LA County- wide Sidewalk CPR Day program.
Learning hands-only CPR helps local emergency responders by focusing on the first few critical minutes following a cardiac arrest. Since the lungs and blood contain only enough oxygen to keep vital organs healthy for that amount of time, bystanders become heroes until emergency responders arrive on scene. With each chest compression using hands-only CPR, ordinary citizens can easily provide the ongoing blood flow needed to give the patient a much better chance of survival once responders arrive.
Don’t be a bystander in a cardiac emergency, be a lifesaver! For more information about this upcoming training, contact Captain Chris Huson at (626) 256-8119 or email@example.com.
Exciting Changes Coming To Public Works! New Office Hours Being Started This Monday, June 3, For General Questions Regarding Public Right-Of-Way And Permitting Issues!
In order to enhance our customer service efforts, the Public Works Department has been working to develop a new over the counter office hour program where we will have staff on-hand to review any permit applications, consider development plans, and answer general questions regarding working in the public right-of-way. In addition, during Office Hours, the City’s Public Works Inspector, our Engineering Technician, and our Senior Administrative Assistant will be able to issue permits over the counter should the applicant provide a complete application / submittal!
These new Office Hours started yesterday, Monday, June 3, as follows:
- Mondays and Thursdays - 7:00 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.
- Tuesdays and Wednesdays - 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Prior to this change, the City’s Public Works Inspector was available by appointment only, and typically was in the field for inspections throughout the day. With the institution of office hours, we are trying to respond to our customer needs by providing set times when applicants can speak with City personnel without having to make an appointment. Of course, even with the new office hour program, the Public Works Department will still remain open during regular business hours, which are Monday through Thursday, 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Should you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to Public Works at (626) 932- 5575 or PWcomments@ci.monrovia.ca.us.
Monrovia’s Very Own Steve Baker Awarded The Waddingham / Doctor Award By The Conference Of California Historical Societies
Many thanks to Sandy Burud from the Monrovia Historical Society (and of Monrovia Legacy fame!) for passing this information along! Because did you know that Monrovia’s very own Steve Baker has just been notified that he will receive the 2018-19 Waddingham / Doctor Award by the Conference of California Historical Societies, which is awarded to an individual who has given 25 years or more of consistent and outstanding service to a local historic society.
In Steve’s case, his service has been to four such groups – MOHPG (the Monrovia Historic Preservation Group), the Duarte Historical Society, the Monrovia Historical Museum, and the Monrovia Historical Society.
Steve is a fifth-generation Monrovian who was appointed the Official Historian for the City of Monrovia in 1991, was elected Monrovia City Treasurer in 2005 and was re-elected in 2009, 2013, and 2017. He has been the Treasurer for the Duarte Historical Society and Museum for more than thirty years, and is currently serving as President of the Citrus College Foundation Board of Directors, President of the Monrovia Historical Society, Treasurer of the Friends of the Monrovia Public Library. In his spare time, Steve serves as a board member for the Monrovia Historic Preservation Group, ChangeMakers and the Santa Anita Family YMCA. In the past Steve has also served as Chair of the Santa Anita YMCA Board of Managers, President of the Monrovia Historical Museum, Treasurer of the Friends of the Duarte Library, member of the Historic Preservation Commission, and Treasurer of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. He was also the Executive Secretary of the Rotary Club of Monrovia for seventeen years. Oh… and he sings really well too!
I know that everyone joins in congratulating a true Monrovian on the occasion of this award… well done Steve!
Removal Of The Remaining K-Rail In The Madison Fire Area Delayed Until Early June
In the aftermath of the 2013 Madison Fire, which burned more than 80 acres of the hillside, the City partnered with Los Angeles County Department of Public Works to install more the 5,600 linear feet of K-rail in key locations to allow for the reestablishment of hillside vegetation lost during the fire. In October of 2018, the City coordinated the initial removal of K-rail along portions of Avocado Place, Crescent Drive, Heather Heights Court, Lotone Street and the upper portion of Highland Place. In addition, as an added safety precaution, the remaining K-rail along the lower portion of Highland Place, upper Mauna Loa Drive, and Hillcrest Boulevard was left in place so that staff could assess the area during the rainy season.
Our plans to remove the K-Rail along the lower portion of Highland Place, upper Mauna Loa Drive, and Hillcrest Boulevard are still in motion, however the removal has been delayed. Previously, the City had planned on coordinating the removal of the K-Rails beginning on May 28. Unfortunately, due to some logistical issues, the K-rail removal process will be delayed by around a week or two.
Of note, the City does not anticipate the removal delay to be too long, and residents in the impacted areas will receive updated notifications once we have a solid new removal date scheduled. In the meantime if you have any questions or concerns, please contact a member of our project team at (626) 932-5575 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Return Of The Soapbox Derby? New Community Group Being Led By Jeff Hunt Is Working To Bring The Soapbox Derby Back As A Fundraiser For The Boys And Girls Club Of The Foothills – Event Scheduled For September 7, From 9:00 A.M. – 3:00 P.M., In Coordination With The Streets Rods Forever Hotrod Car Show!
During the past few months, staff has been working with Monrovia resident Jeff Hunt, who has been inspired to develop a mechanism to assist fundraising efforts for the Boys and Girls Club of the Foothills! To that end, Jeff has been working to try and revive the Soapbox Derby, in coordination and partnership with the Hot Rods Forever group that coordinates an annual car show event in Monrovia.
Recently, Jeff made significant progress on coordinating the event, and the City has received a formal application to coordinate the proposed event. Those application materials are included below you’re your reference, and staff will be working with Jeff and his team in the coming weeks to coordinate additional program details. Based on the information received by the City to date, the proposed Soapbox Derby will be held on September 7, from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. For more information, please feel free to contact Soapbox Derby, LLC, at (626) 205-4786.
Monrovia Reads Named By Beacon Media News As One Of 3 Finalists For Best Local Charity!
We are so excited to share that this past week, we learned that Monrovia Reads was named as one of 3 finalists for “Best Local Charity” by Beacon Media News! If you are so inclined, we know that Monrovia Reads would appreciate your support in the voting push to be named as the favorite local charity! To show your support, click here to vote for Monrovia Reads for best local charity!
- Click on the link above and choose “Community” as the category
- Then, choose “Local Charity” as the sub-category
- Click on Monrovia Reads
- Enter your email address and then click VOTE!
The voting period will last through June 6, so please vote today!
Monrovia Area Partnership To Unveil New Neighborhood Treasure On Saturday, June 8, At 11 A.M.
The City of Monrovia is excited to be celebrating its 4th Neighborhoods Treasure, Japanese Americans in Monrovia! Monrovia families like the Uyedas, Tsuneishi, Asanos, Kurimiyas and others came to Monrovia to build the strawberry farms, the grocery stores, fruit stands, and much more.
In the aftermath of Pearl Harbor, many Japanese Monrovians were sent to internment camps. When the war finally ended, and these individuals were releases, many returned to Monrovia and graduated their children from Monrovia schools, resumed their businesses and continued to contribute to the growth of the community. Their contributions made significant advancements for local agriculture and business interests. Monrovia’s Japanese Americans were true pioneers!
To join us for the celebration and block party on Saturday, June 8 at 11 am at 300 W Cypress. Please RSVP online or by calling the City at (626) 932-5563.
Monrovia Area Partnership’s 13th Anniversary Block Party Is Scheduled For June 22, 2019, At 11 A.M., At Julian Fisher Park!
Join the Monrovia Area Partnership (MAP) on Saturday, June 22, as we celebrate the 13th year of this amazing community based program! Since 2006, MAP has brought you great block parties as a way to get people out of their homes and into a common area and enjoy each other’s company. Join us as we keep the party going with family friendly games, free food and ICE CREAM! For more information, please see the invitation below!
Special Events Galore In Monrovia As We Head Towards Summer!
Just a quick note to let everyone know to buckle-up… because it’s about to become a truly Monrovia-centric, community-focused summer!
During the past few months, the team here at the City has been busy preparing for a whole summer of fun and programming, and as has been our custom these past few years, the end of our Monrovia Days celebration signals the start of our summer programming! Whether it’s our summer concert series, or our movies in the park, or our MAP events, or festivities put on by local non-profit groups… be on the look-out for terrific entertainment opportunities all summer long here in Monrovia!
As these different events occur, we’ll be sure to get the word out, but as a quick preview, take a look at the attached listing of upcoming events! There’s something going on just about every weekend from now until September, so get ready! Summer fun is just about here!
Charter Communications Installing New Conduit On Parts Of Foothill Boulevard From Tuesday, May 28 – Friday, June 7
Starting on Tuesday, May 28th, Charter Spectrum is proposing to install new conduit for fiber optic cable and will be working through the week until June 7th. Traffic impacts include Foothill Boulevard at California Avenue, Foothill Boulevard at Grand Avenue, with lesser impacts at Foothill Boulevard at Poinsettia Avenue and Foothill Boulevard at Norumbega Road. Traffic control plans are attached for reference as there will be 3 phases of work to this project however, traffic impacts are expected as a result of all the work. Working hours are from 9:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. daily throughout the project schedule.
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to Public Works at (626) 932-5575.
Browse The Monrovia Old Town Website Now!
Over the last several months, the Monrovia Old Town Advisory Board (MOTAB) has been hard at work developing a comprehensive and interactive website, aimed at providing the community a one-stop-shop to find information about all things Old Town Monrovia. We are pleased to announce the website, www.monroviaoldtown.org, is now live and accessible to everyone!
This new digital home for OId Town Monrovia features a ton of information and enhancements, including a listing of all the shops, businesses, and restaurants located in Old Town with easy links to the merchants website, direct dialing on your mobile device, and directions to convenient parking. In addition, the first Blog offers “How To” videos to help new users optimize their experience!
Log on today to learn more about what is happening in Old Town Monrovia, how to get to Old Town Monrovia, and once here where to park! See you in Old Town!
Annual Fire Department Brush Inspections Underway
It is that time of year again for Monrovia Fire & Rescue’s brush inspections! The Fire Department is now performing brush inspections for all properties located in the high-fire danger areas of town. We will be working with all of our impacted residents to coordinate all brush clearance activities.
Of particular note, in an effort to reduce the risk of fire danger for all of us in town, and to better coordinate our overall brush disposal programs, the City has partnered with Athens Services to provide roll-off-bins and bulky item pick-ups at no cost for impacted residents during the brush clearance season. Athens will be providing bins from May 1 – June 30 for residents in the brush zone. Residents should have received the annual brush clearance letter this past week. To coordinate getting your free bin, call (626) 256-8109 and the Fire Department will help coordinate bin delivery.
Visit Www.Buildingmonrovia.Com For All Of Your Development-Related Questions
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:
- Affordable Housing
- Public Safety
- And more!
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:
- Trammel Crow Residential - "The Alexan Specific Plan"
- A 436-unit project proposed to be built at 1625 South Magnolia Avenue
- Fifield Realty Corporation - "West Pomona Transit District"
- A 310-unit project proposed to be built at 123 West Pomona Avenue
- 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
- 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.
Improvements Coming To The City’s Library Calendar
During the past few years, the Monrovia Public Library has worked with a library calendar company called LibraryInsight to power our library calendar of events. As our team at the Library has done some additional research about possible ways to enhance the library calendar, we have been in discussions with a firm called Library Market, which provides a new more interactive and user-friendly calendar management software program. After meeting with Library Market, we identified that the new software would allow us to make the following improvements:
- It has a user-friendly interface that is mobile-friendly
- The admin side allows you to easily enter and update program information
- We can use the software to allow online booking of study rooms
- Registration is easy for both patrons and staff
- The software will automatically notify program attendees 24 hours before an event with a reminder email and contact those on a waitlist if a spot opens up
- Reports and statistics allow us to see how & when patrons sign up for programs or study rooms (helpful for Library Board or State Report)
- They provide training for all staff and a customized manual specific to our library
- Location maps on event listings to help direct patrons during off-site programs
- Patrons can easily share events on social media (Facebook & Instagram) or via email with others
- We can create disclaimers, program descriptions, and images that can be easily attached to multiple programs
- They offer support via phone, email, and their help desk ticketing system
- Patrons can easily filter events by age group, date, or topic
Based on our work to date, we anticipate the new Monrovia Library calendar going live at the end of June 2019.
SoCalGas Company Relocating / Lowering Pipeline On Melrose Avenue Prior To Road Construction
SoCalGas crews will be conducting a utility relocation/lowering project along Melrose Avenue (between Hillcrest and Scenic) and portions of Scenic Drive over the next 6-8 weeks. As a result of the utility coordination efforts that have been undertaken between the Engineering Team and our Franchise Utility Partners, SoCalGas has been doing considerable exploratory work throughout the City to locate any potential pipeline or infrastructure issues that need to be addressed prior to the City’s construction taking place as a part of Monrovia Renewal. During these efforts, SoCalGas found a shallow gas pipeline along Melrose Avenue, between Hillcrest Blvd and Scenic Drive, as well as the immediately adjacent portions of Scenic Drive.
While the shallow gas pipeline was not causing any safety or service concerns in and of itself, the fact that the City would be pulverizing the street to dirt and reconstructing the roadway, representatives from SoCalGas and the City’s engineering team determined that it would be in the best interest of everyone to have this line lowered prior to construction taking place.
As such, National Pipeline (NPL) will be working in this vicinity for the next 6-8 weeks to lower the mainline as well as replace all of the residential gas service lines. Residents who are in the directly impacted area have received more specific/detailed communication from SoCalGas regarding this work and what to expect while it is taking place. Once SoCalGas has completed their work in this area, Sully-Miller Contracting Company will resume the Monrovia Renewal related improvements in this area.
Should you have any questions or concerns, please contact Public Works at (626) 932-5575.
Monrovia Renewal South Section – City Is Working To Finalize A Plan To Complete All Of The Identified Street Repaving Work In The Area… Which Totals 1.35 Million Square Feet Of Street Repairs!
If you’ve been thinking that the City isn’t quite done yet with the South Section of Monrovia Renewal… you’d be right!
As you may recall, the South Section of our overall Citywide infrastructure improvement plan includes the entire portion of the City located south of the I-210 Freeway. And during the past few months, the City has been working to develop an alternative plan to complete the street repair work for that particular section of town.
To date, we have been working with one contractor (Sequel Construction), however, for a variety of coordination and scheduling issues, here at the City, we have had to develop an alternative plan in order to finish the identified work.
To date, Sequel Construction has completed over 500,000 square feet of street improvements in the South Section. However, there is still around 1.35 million square feet of street improvements that have not yet been started. Given that factor, our Public Works Department is working to finalize a recommendation for City Council consideration in May that will allow us to effectively complete all of the remaining street work. Based on our current review of existing street conditions, the streets located in the South Section that still require work include:
|5th Avenue||8th Avenue||9th Avenue||Alta Street|
|Alta Vista Avenue||Anita Street||Beneath 210 Freeway||Bonita Street|
|Diamond Street||Duarte Road||El Norte Street||Encino Avenue|
|Encino Way||Encino Place||Enterprise Way||Evergreen Avenue|
|Genoa Street||Hurtsview Avenue||Ivy Avenue||Monrovista Avenue|
|Montana Street||Alamitas Avenue||Mountain Avenue||Myrtle Avenue|
|Naples Street||Peck Road||Pomona Avenue||Shamrock Avenue|
|Spanner Street||Venice Avenue|
A map highlighting the streets that still require additional work is included above. In addition, all of us here at the City appreciate the patience that the community has had with us as we’ve worked through executing our signature capital improvement initiative. Monrovia Renewal has certainly been messy, but the end result is upgraded infrastructure throughout our community. Of course, if you have any questions or concerns, please contact a member of our project team (626) 932-5575 or at email@example.com.
City Continues To Contemplate A Local Sales Tax Measure To Protect Local Funding From LA County
As you may recall, 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.
Staff will continue analyzing the potential spending plan options and will be sure to keep the community posted moving forward.
Southern California Edison Planning Electrical System Improvements That Will Impact Portions of Myrtle, Walnut and Primrose
Construction crews and inspectors from Southern California Edison (SCE) are coordinating a significant electrical system undergrounding improvement project that will impact the area of Myrtle Avenue, Primrose Avenue, and Walnut Avenue. The construction work, which is anticipated to last 6 – 8 weeks, will involve trenching and excavating portions of the 800 block of South Myrtle Avenue, along with portions of Walnut Avenue adjacent west of Myrtle Avenue, in order to install new conduits, ducts, and other underground structures to reroute existing SCE infrastructure. Of particular note, as part of the work, SCE will need to have a trench cut across Myrtle Avenue, which will require robust traffic control efforts.
Work will begin on Primrose and down Walnut from West to East. Given the magnitude and potential impact of the project, the City will have a dedicated team working to manage the information and coordination of the work throughout the process. Based on what we know, traffic on Myrtle Avenue will remain accessible for those needing to access Old Town, however, delays should be expected. Work hours will be from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, each week.
Highland Place Debris Basin Could Be Removed By LA County, City Making Assessing Possibility Of Taking The Facility Over
As everyone may recall, after the Madison Fire, LA County installed a debris basin at the top of Highland Place to control and manage mud / debris flows. The structure was built by LA County, and for the past ~5 years, LA County has managed and maintained the overall structure.
An engineer from LA County contacted our Public Works team to discuss the future disposition of the debris structure. It appears that given we’ve hit the 5-year mark since the Madison Fire, LA County has given the City two options regarding the future of the debris structure, which are as follows:
- LA County will remove the structure
- LA County will convey the structure to the City, and we will be responsible for all operating and maintenance related costs moving forward
Pictures of the facility are shown below.
We’re still trying to sort out all of the details related to this particular issue, and as part of our research, we’re trying to determine if there was any arrangement or agreement that the City entered into with LA County regarding the structure. Furthermore, we’re doing calculations regarding ongoing costs for managing the debris basin.
Staff’s initial reaction to the news is that the City seriously needs to consider taking the debris basin facility over. It’s become a vital part of our debris management plan here in Monrovia, and of note, according to our team, there is currently around 10’ – 12’ of debris behind the basin right now!
We’ll be sure to continue analyzing this overall issue, and as additional information becomes available, we will be sure to pass the details along.
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.
City Preparing To Take Over The Parking Lots Located On Lime Avenue Adjacent To Old Town… Which Means More Downtown Parking Is Coming Soon!
We wanted to let everyone know that additional parking is coming to Old Town! During the past several years, the City has been engaged in discussions with representatives from Monrovia Lime, LLC, regarding the possibility of obtaining the right to utilize the ~150 parking spaces located on Lime Avenue, just east of Ivy Avenue, as illustrated in the map below in yellow. The smaller of the two lots is located between First Indonesian Baptist Church and the George Anderson House Museum. The larger of the two lots is just east of the Anderson House.
We are happy to report that after more than a year of dialogue, the City has now acquired the right to utilize those two parking lots, which will be available for general public use by the end of May 2018. During the next few weeks, City crews will be working to make minor upgrades to both parking lots (weed control, lights, new painting, etc.), and we anticipate that the lots will be available for public use soon thereafter. We will be certain to keep everyone apprised of our progress moving ahead.
Annual Citywide Sewer Cleaning Program Set To Begin, With 200,000 Linear Feet Of Sewer Lines Set To Be Cleaned By July
We wanted to let everyone know that this week, the City started our annual sewer maintenance program, and our team has been deployed in concert with a private contractor (Houston Harris) to coordinate an initial cleaning of ~250,000 linear feet of sewer lines throughout the City. And just in case you didn’t know… 250,000 linear feet is equivalent to nearly 47 miles!
Overall, the City’s sanitary sewer system contains approximately 92 miles of sewer line comprised of various sizes (ranging from 6” to 24” diameters) and materials (including iron, steel, and vitrified clay). Given that quantity of sewer lines, our sewer maintenance program includes the cleaning of around 250,000 linear feet of sewer pipelines annually. The crews in the field now are using a method known as hydro jetting to clear any possible sewer blockages, and additionally, our team will be coordinating the inspection of the sewer lines utilizing closed circuit video. Other maintenance activities include root removal and pest control programs.
During the next few months, we will be coordinating this sewer maintenance work, and if you see large equipment located throughout town at sewer manholes… rest assured, our team is hard at work keeping the brown in the round!
Water Pipeline Repair On Canyon Boulevard As Part Of Monrovia Renewal North Section Is Nearing Completion!
Sully-Miller crews have completed the water pipeline repair along Canyon Boulevard. They will continue making all necessary connections of the new pipeline to the water system but this work will be confined to the site and area surrounding Oakglade Reservoir. This work will segue to the planned site and tank improvements that will be completed at Oakglade Reservoir. As the final part of these improvements, crews will return later this summer to complete the road construction that is planned for Canyon Boulevard. Thank you for your patience and understanding while we work to complete these improvements.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Public Works Division at (626) 932-5575, or via email at Monroviarenewal@ci.monrovia.ca.us. Additionally, updated construction schedules and notices will be available on the City’s website and on the City’s social media accounts. And please know that all of us here at the City appreciate your patience during these periods of construction activity!
Are You Looking For A Premier Summer Science Program? If So... The Junior Researcher Summer Academy Might Be For You! Space is Limited And Going Quickly! Reserve Your Child's Spot Today!
As part of the City’s focus on educational programming for our youth, we are pleased to announce the Junior Researcher Academy, hosted by the City and the Oak Crest Institute of Science! Now, teens in Grades 7-9 can participate in one of three summer sessions for $100 per session (scholarships are available):
- Session 1: July 1 – 12 (*no session on July 4)
- Session 2: July 15 – 26 - FULL
- Session 3: July 29 – August 9
Participants have so much to look forward to, including getting introduced to a variety of scientific fields through hands-on experiments with real research scientists! To register or if you have any questions, contact the Monrovia Community Center at (626) 256-8246 or visit us online.
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.
Are You In Need Of Accessible Transportation? Register For Monrovia's Dial-A-Ride Program!
As of March, Monrovia Transit serves passengers with ADA needs only. This change is being made to ensure the ADA accessible vehicles are reserved for those who need special accommodations. All passengers with ADA-related needs wishing to take advantage of this service should complete this short, one-time application, including providing back-up documentation showing disability eligibility, sign the waiver, and return both to the Community Center (119 W. Palm Avenue).
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!
T.A.B. - Teen Advisory Board
Your voice counts! For teens in grades 6 - 12 who want to help shape the Library's teen services. TAB members create programs for all teens in the community to enjoy, and help put on events at the Library. Pick up an application at the Youth Red Desk or online. All TAB meetings are held on the first Monday of the month from 4:00 - 5:00 PM in the Library Community Room. Questions? Email Anush Balayan, Youth Services Librarian & TAB coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Monday, June 3, 4:00 - 5:00 p.m., Library Community Room
Star Wars Trivia Night
Compete with your friends to win our monthly trivia night at the Copper Still Grill. Winning teams will receive a grand prize and all attendees will have a chance at winning a raffle prize. June's Trivia Night topic is Star Wars including the current episodes and the originals. *Registration is not required, but if you know you're definitely coming, please feel free to register your team in advance. Only one person from each team should register. Questions? Call (626) 256-8265.
- Tuesday, June 4, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m., Copper Still Grill (610 S. Myrtle Ave)
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 email@example.com
- 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.
- Every Thursday, 12 p.m. - 1:30 p.m., in the Library Heritage Room. For more information, call 626-256-8273 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Join us for a relaxing morning at the cinema! This month enjoy watching BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY on the big screen. Stop by, pull up a chair, enjoy some refreshments and let some memorable movies whisk you away.
- Saturday, June 8, 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m., Library Community Room
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.
Key Links & Help Keep Monrovia Beautiful:
- City News and Highlights
- Meeting Agendas and Minutes
- Sustainable Landscape Recognition Award
- Graffiti Removal and Gift Card Program
- Abandoned Bulky Items Reporting and Raffle Program
Interesting Story Of The Week – Even At Age 78... "It's Never Too Late To Do Something You Love."
Our interesting story of the week comes to us courtesy of the Washington Post, which shares the story of Suzelle Poole, who at age 78, continues to teach classical ballet six-days a week. In a story that captures how cool humans can be, the article shares that in addition to teaching, Ms. Poole also regularly performs throughout the Dallas area as a guest artist with local dance companies, in addition to dancing at retirement communities and assisted-living centers.
According to the article, Ms. Poole shared that, “People in care centers can relate to me because I’m about the same age… I enjoy showing them that it’s never too late to do something you love.”
Now how strange is it for a 78-year old to be dancing ballet? Well, for most dancers, 30 is the average age when they retire. Given her longevity and her perseverance, Ms. Poole was also the subject of a TEDx Talk earlier this year called “Dancing Beyond All Limits.”
To read more about this triumph of the human capacity, click here!!
Police Department's Weekly Neighborhood Watch Report
The Police Department’s weekly neighborhood watch report for the period May 23 - May 29, 2019, has been included for your review and reference. During the last seven-day period, the Police Department handled 417 service events, resulting in 98 investigations.
A copy of the report can be found at the following link: Weekly Neighborhood Watch Report