City Manager's Update: July 23, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org!
And of course… all the best to you and yours as we continue through this week!
Quote of the Week
The mind is stronger than the body. Trust that and watch what your body can do.
– Carl Flanders
City Set To Follow-Up With Supervisor Barger’s Staff After Successful Breakfast Meeting Event
This past Friday, the City Council held a special meeting with LA County Supervisor Kathryn Barger to discuss a variety of issues that overlap between the City and LA County. The meeting was successful, and all of us at the City appreciate the work that Supervisory Barger does to support Monrovia and the rest of her district.
We wanted to share that based on the Supervisor’s comments at our meeting, coupled with follow-up discussions that we had with her staff following the meeting, it appears that some tangible take-away results from the meeting include the following:
- Consideration by LA County to allocate $300,000 (from LA County Parks & Open Space District Excess Funds) to support our efforts to upgrade Lucinda Garcia Park
- Commitments to improve the process of allocating LA County Measure H homeless funds to support successful local homeless response models, with a particular emphasis on Monrovia’s very own Housing Displacement Response Program
- An allocation of $5,000 from LA County to support our Youth Employment Services internship program
- Continued support from the Supervisor for our rWMP stormwater programs
A copy of the presentation that we used to guide the discussion with the Supervisor can be found online, and of course, we will be certain to keep everyone informed as to our progress on each of the above referenced partnership projects with LA County!
Concept Plans Developed For The Lucinda Garcia Park Improvement Initiative As Part Of Our Proposition 68 Grant Application
During the past few months, the City has been hard at work 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, the City has coordinated substantial public outreach efforts, including:
- May 30 – City 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
- June 8 – City staff conducted door-to-door outreach to the neighbors living adjacent to Lucinda Garcia Park to gather their feedback regarding possible improvements to the park, while also advertising a special Community Meeting on June 15 to discuss specific proposed park improvements
- June 13 – the City hosted a special meeting of the Community Services Commission at Lucinda Garcia Park, which provided an opportunity for the Commission to walk the park facility and provide feedback to staff as it relates to the proposed enhancements.
- June 15 – the City hosted a special Community Meeting to further explore and gather feedback from residents regarding potential enhancements at Lucinda Garcia Park
Based on the information received from the above referenced outreach efforts, the City recently developed a conceptual design of the improvements to Lucinda Garcia Park that we’re hoping to incorporate into our Proposition 68 Grant Application. That conceptual site plan is included below, which highlights 22 proposed park improvements.
Many thanks to our Community Services Department team for their terrific work in coordinating a robust community outreach program as part of our grant application, and for shepherding along the review / design process to in such an expert manner.
It's Hot! Enjoy Air-Conditioning At City Facilities
In light of the higher temperatures, those who would like to enjoy the air conditioning this week are encouraged to head to the Monrovia Public Library or the Monrovia Community Center.
Monrovia Public Library Hours:
Monday – Wednesday: 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Thursday – Saturday: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Monrovia Community Center Hours:
Monday – Thursday: 8 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Friday: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
The San Gabriel Valley Region Is Being Asked To Give Up $126 Million Of Our Sub-Regional Measure M Equity Transit Funds (Of Which We Were Allocated $199 Million) For The Gold Line Extension To Pomona
I wanted to bring to everyone’s attention a matter that Council Member Shevlin shared with staff this past week. It appears that the Gold Line Construction Authority is short of money (again!) to build the light rail extension line out to Pomona. The funding gap currently appears to be $126 million.
There are a variety of reasons for the funding gap, and there are also various options moving ahead. At this time, it appears that the option the Gold Line Construction Authority has pursued – without first discussing the matter with the San Gabriel Valley COG – is to coordinate with Metro take the funding out of the $199 million pot of Measure M Equity Funds that were allocated to the broader San Gabriel Valley region.
Of particular note, the Measure M Equity Funds were an explicit promise to our region for future transit projects through FY 2057, as outlined in the Measure M advocacy literature included below:
The SGVCOG has been identified as the distributor and manager of Measure M sub-regional funds for the San Gabriel Valley, and of note, Monrovia recently won a $4 million allocation of Measure M sub-regional funding to make transportation improvements in the Station Square area.
If the Gold Line Construction Authority is able to “take” the SGV region’s Measure M Equity Program funds, it would almost certainly mean reduced future transit funding for local jurisdictions. To that end, the SGVCOG is in the process of scheduling a Special Meeting to discuss this matter in greater detail, and the City will be paying close attention to this situation moving ahead.
Monrovia Library Awarded With The Beacon Media News’ Reader’s Choice Award For Recommended Library!
We wanted to share with everyone some good news we received this past week! It appears that congratulations are in order for the Monrovia Public Library, because as part of the Beacon Media News annual Reader’s Choice awards program, our very own library facility was named the Recommended Library!
All of us here at the City are so pleased with this award and recognition, and special thanks to the hard-working team at the Monrovia Public Library for their dedication and commitment to providing a superior customer service experience at our library facility! Additional details regarding the award will be made available in the coming weeks, we just wanted to get the word out now and share the good news!
Check Out “Made In Monrovia” A Podcast All About Our Amazing City!
A new podcast is coming to town and it focuses on our beloved city! Leandra and Barrett Soop are Monrovians and they run Be Seen Company: A Video and Podcast Production Company. They love creating space for people to storytell and to create content to help people share their story with their intended audience. Leandra also works as a therapist in Burbank at a private practice and Barrett specializes in creating content for social media and websites. Weekly, they have Monrovians come to their Podcast studio on Myrtle Avenue to share insights into their experiences, service, and motivations for being a part of the Monrovia community.
Their hope is that by hearing these stories we can learn from and celebrate the people of our city, see how we are all connected, and find new ways to participate and experience Monrovia more fully. If you are interested in hearing the wonderful stories that the Soops have to share, subscribe to their podcast, “Made in Monrovia”, on your favorite podcast platform and follow @madeinmonrovia on Facebook and Instagram for details on the latest episodes!
Attention! $5 Movies Will Not Be Available On Tuesday, July 30, At Studio Movie Grill! This One-Time Service Change Is Due To A Private Event Taking Place That Day!
On July 30, $5 Movie Tuesday will be temporarily suspended at Studio Movie Grill in Old Town. Due to a private event, the theater will be closed for a portion of the day. Regular movie screenings will resume around 8 p.m., and the $5 Movie Tuesday program will resume the following week!
Join Us For Our Next Summer Movie This Saturday At Julian Fisher Park For Ralph Breaks The Internet!
Speaking of movies… the Community Services Department is excited to present Summer Movies in the Park! Join us on the following dates to watch a movie under the stars. All movies will begin at dusk. Be sure to bring your lawn chair, blankets, and snacks for a smashing good time that the whole family can enjoy!
- July 27 – Ralph Breaks the Internet at Julian Fisher Park
- August 3 – Mary Poppins Returns at Rotary Park
- August 10 – Wall-E at Library Park
Final Repairs For The Elevator Located In Colorado Commons Parking Structure Set To Take Place This Next Week!
As you may be aware, the elevator servicing the public parking garage at Colorado Commons has been operating inconsistently during the past few weeks. The facility is maintained by the City, and the components needed to fix the door operator were found to be inoperable several weeks ago. After reviewing the matter, it was identified that given the age of the elevator, the parts needed were obsolete and discontinued, and to that end, the elevator hasn’t been able to be fully used on a regular basis of late.
We’re happy to report, though, that the City’s service contractor, Mitsubishi Electric, has been able to procure all of the new parts needed to install a permanent fix, and we will be making those the necessary repairs starting Tuesday, July 23. The work is expected to take four business days to complete, meaning that the elevator will be fully operational on Friday, July 26. Please contact Public Works at (626) 932-5575, should you have any questions regarding this work!
City Entryway Improvements At Huntington Drive / 5th Avenue Set To Take Place In Mid-July - City Council Study Session To Review Monument Sign This Tuesday At 6:30 P.M.
During the past year, staff has been engaged in coordinating a capital improvement project that will result in a reconfiguration of the intersection at 5th Avenue / Huntington Drive. The planned improvements are funded through a variety of different sources, and the overall elements associated with the enhancements include:
- An initial reconfiguration of the Southeast entryway corner of Huntington Drive / 5th Avenue to facilitate future phases of the improvements
- Installation of a new entryway monument at the location (along with corresponding entryway monuments / public art along the entire stretch of Huntington Drive in Monrovia), along with new landscaping
- Widening Huntington Drive at 5th Avenue in Monrovia to facilitate improved traffic flow at the location
- Installation of new traffic signals at the Huntington Drive / 5th Avenue intersection to facilitate protected left turn movements in all directions
Given the coordination that has occurred to date, the first phase of the planned improvements – reconfiguring and widening the southwest entryway corner of Huntington Drive / 5th Avenue to facilitate all of the other enhancements – is scheduled to begin in a few weeks in mid-July. As part of that work, the existing entryway monument will need to be removed, and staff is in the process of coordinating that removal process now.
In order for the reconfiguration of the southwest entryway corner on Huntington Drive to proceed, the City needs to expand the area of this particular corner to facilitate all of the planned future work. To accomplish this task, the City’s contractor will work to expand the covering over an existing underground pedestrian trail that travels below Huntington Drive, along the Santa Anita wash.
Utilizing some of the existing structure, a box culvert will be built in the wash that will include a traffic rated deck to match the existing grade of the corner. This will add more than 100 additional square feet of space to this corner and will form the basis for the eventual installation of new welcome monuments, improved landscaping, new traffic signals, and pedestrian space.
The overall work will take around 4-weeks to complete, and although the work will take place out of the roadway, there may be times when contractors will be encroaching onto Fifth Avenue and Huntington Drive during the construction activity. Of course, in those instances, proper and thorough traffic control will be installed to ensure that the work zone is safe at all times. In addition, due to the potential traffic delays, our team has been in touch with our counterparts at the City of Arcadia to advise of potential impacts. Finally, we ask all motorists and pedestrians in the area to be please be safe and expect delays.
Of note, given the visibility of the entryway monument at 5th Avenue / Huntington Drive for Monrovia, staff scheduled a City Council Study Session to review the planned improvements at the intersection location on July 16 at 6:30 p.m. At that meeting, City Council approved proceeding with the initial design details, samples of which are included below for reference!
Moving forward, we will be sure to update everyone as we make progress on these improvements at 5th Avenue / Huntington Drive! In the meantime, if you have any questions about this matter, please call Public Works at (626) 932-5575 or email PWComments@ci.monrovia.ca.us.
Western City Entryway @ Huntington Drive / 5th Avenue
Eastern City Entryway @ Huntington Drive / Mountain Avenue
Pasadena Humane Society To Host Two Interactive Communty Meetings Regarding “Coyote Safety Workshops” On Sunday, August 4 And Saturday, September 14
Mark your calendars for two interactive community outreach meeting presented by the Pasadena Humane Society on Sunday, August 4, and Saturday, September 14, from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. The Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA will be offering information and suggestions in diffusing conflict with coyotes. If you have any questions or would like to register, please do so here.
Join Us For The Second MAFA Summer Art Walk In Old Town On July 27!
The June Art Walk was a huge hit! If you missed it, fear not for there are still two more chances! The Monrovia Association of Fine Arts (MAFA) Summer Art Walks offer a glimpse into the local arts scene. Visitors get to enjoy art along the sidewalk in the 400 block of South Myrtle Avenue on Saturday, July 27 and August 24. Additional information can be found on the flyer below, by visiting the event page or by calling (626) 483-0560. Many thanks to MAFA for all that they do to advance arts and culture here in our community!
National Night Out Event With The Monrovia Police Department At Library Park Is Scheduled For Tuesday, August 6, 6:30 – 8:30 P.M.!
We hope you can join the Monrovia Police Department for National Night Out on Tuesday, August 6, 2019, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Library Park! The Monrovia Police Department will be hosting the National Night Out program, which is a community-building initiative that promotes police and community partnerships with a sense of neighborhood camaraderie. This event is a fantastic opportunity for citizens to come together to promote crime awareness, drug awareness, and to meet some of the amazing men and women of the Monrovia Police Department!
It’s Official… New Lowe’s Store Is Coming To Monrovia! Appliance-Focused Concept Will Be Located In The Former OSH Site On Huntington Drive!
We wanted to let everyone know that we received confirmation late this past week that Lowe’s is coming to Monrovia! If you recall, after OSH closed their store earlier this year at the shopping center now anchored by Petsmart (725 West Huntington Drive), the City has been in fairly close contact with numerous individuals who either represent or are interested in the now vacant OSH site.
We are pleased to confirm that Lowe’s will be opening a store here in Monrovia at the former OSH location! In particular, Lowe’s owned OSH, and given the closure of all OSH locations, during the past several months, Lowe’s has been reviewing their portfolio of now-vacant sites to determine their next steps. Based on that review, Lowe’s informed the City that they want to open a new appliance-centric store concept here in Monrovia that will also provide opportunities to purchase home improvement related items that are typically found in a Lowe’s store.
Of note, the proposed store concept being put forward by Lowe’s is likely a response to the reorganized Sears that exited bankruptcy protection earlier this calendar year. Under Sears’ new business plan, they are focused on transforming into a niche, appliance-focused retailer, and Lowe’s is likely looking to compete in that particular retail space with their proposed store in Monrovia.
From a timeframe perspective, Lowe’s has shared that they want to move quickly, and that they are aiming for a new store opening in September of this year. Given tenant improvements / store upgrades processes, to open in September 2019 would require Lowe’s to move very quickly. To that end, we are tentatively anticipating that Lowe’s will be appearing before the Development Review Committee (DRC) on July 31 to present their overall store signage plans for consideration.
This is a terrific development for Monrovia, and kudos to the City’s Community Development Department for their expert coordination of various processes in working with and convincing Lowe’s to open a store here in Monrovia! We’ll be sure to pass along new details as that information becomes available!
Canyon Park’s Family Night And Campout Program Continues To Be A Hit, With Four More Weekend Sessions Scheduled Through September 2019!
Earlier this month, our talented Canyon Park and Library staff hosted a Family Hike & Campout event in our very own Canyon Park! This popular program fills up fast, as families are eager to make memories under the stars, and enjoy a BBQ dinner, s’mores, a hike, story-time, and more! Luckily, there are still chances for you and your family to attend the campouts this summer, so we encourage you to sign up as registration opens for each event!
- Upcoming Campouts:
- July 27 - 28
- August 25 - 26
- September 7 - 8
- September 28 - 29
- Check In: 2:00 p.m., Check Out: 12:00 p.m.
- Registration opens three weeks before each event. Be sure to sign up early to get your spot!
- Cost: %50
Should you have any questions about these terrific events, please call the Community Services Department at (626) 256-8155!
The Monrovia Historical Society Presents Their Own Fun Version Of Antiques Roadshow On Saturday, August 3, 10 A.M. – 1 P.M.
The Monrovia Historical Society invites you to their answer to television’s Antiques Roadshow! Ever wanted to bring something to an Antiques Roadshow event and have someone tell you about it? How old is it? What’s it worth? How do you fix it?
Bring that “it’s treasure to me, but is it really treasure?” that’s been sitting in your curio cabinet, and satisfy your curiosity! Solve a mystery or get some advice from our local experts (not the TV ones):
- Chris Shackelford, Pasadena Architectural Salvage, antique house parts (hardware, fixtures)
- Norm Haley, expert in antique automobiles and rehabbing old structures
- Steve Baker, City Historian, antique furniture, Early American Glass and Monroviana
- We may also have an expert from a major auction house or two.
Join the investigative fun on Saturday, August 3, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Library Community Room (321 S. Myrtle Avenue). Participants should bring 1-2 items you are curious about. If it’s large (like a desk or an airplane), or attached to your home, just bring a picture.
While this may not be an actual taping of the TV show, it should be just as enjoyable! This event is free to Monrovia Historical Society members and a $5 donation for non-members. RSVP to the Historical Society to get an early place in line, or call/text (626) 675-8323. Read more about the Historical Society via their website.
Monrovia Community Garden Program Set To Host A Veggie Gardening 101 Workshop On July 27 At 9:00 A.M. – The Event Is Free And Open To Everyone Interested In Participating!
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. Additional details can be found on the event flyer below!
If you have any questions about this program, find us online at www.monroviacommunitygarden.org. You can also follow the Monrovia Community Garden program on Facebook and Instagram.
Athens Solid Waste Service Rates Increased By 4.77% As Of July 1, 2019 – The Typical Residential Customer Will See An Increase Of $1.50 / Month
Just a quick reminder for everyone that Athens solid waste service rates will be increasing 4.77% effective July 1, 2019. This particular adjustment takes into account both CPI and California State minimum wage cost increases, and in terms of impact to the customers, the cost increase will be as follows:
- For the typical residential customer (who is enrolled in the 90-gallon trash / recycling barrel program), solid waste services will increase by $1.50 / month, from $31.53 / month to $33.03 / month.
- For the typical multi-family customer (who is enrolled in the one 3-yard bin which is serviced once per week), solid waste services will increase by $8.63 / month, from $180.83 / month to $189.46 / month.
- For the typical commercial customer (who is enrolled in the one 3-yard bin which is serviced once per week), solid waste services will increase by $8.77 / month, from $183.94 / month to $192.71 / month.
Staff has also rolled out our annual 1-on-1 Solid Waste Services Optimization Meetings as part of the rate increase. These meetings, with representatives from the City and Athens, provide any interested customer with a personalized assessment of their current solid waste service levels to ensure that they currently enrolled in the best program to ensure proper waste removal services at the best cost level. For additional details, or if you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Jamie Bumia, Public Works Outreach Officer in the Public Works Department, at (626) 932-5575.
Summer Concerts In The Park Every Weekend Throughout July And August!
The Community Services Department will be hosting the 2019 Summer Concert Series! Bring the entire family for an evening of free musical entertainment from 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. Bring your lawn chair or blanket, sit back, relax and enjoy the variety of music. We are excited to offer dance lessons at 6 of our concerts! Mark your calendars and don't miss out!
Saturday Concerts @ Station Square Amphitheater
- Address: 1601 South Myrtle Ave., Monrovia, CA 91016
- Time: 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
- July 27 -Salsa Caliente, Salsa Band
- Free Salsa Dance Lesson!
- August 3 -The Hodads, Variety Band
- Free Zumba Dance Lesson!
- August 10 -The Skinny Ties, 80's Rock and Roll Band
- August 17 - Mark Easterday Band, Country Band
- Free Line Dancing Lesson!
- August 24 -Langston Theard & Adoration, Gospel Soul Band
- July 27 -Salsa Caliente, Salsa Band
Sunday Concerts @ Library Park, Rotary Club Bandshell
- Address: 321 South Myrtle Ave., Monrovia, CA 91016
- Time: 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
- July 28 -Smokin' Cobras, 50's Retro Band
- Free Swing Dance Lesson!
- August 4 - Hit Me 90's, 90's Pop Band
- Free Pop/Hip Hop Lesson!
- August 11 - Bumptown, Old School/Disco/Latin Band
- August 18 - Yachty by Nature, Yacht Rock Band 70s & 80s
- August 25 - The Answer, Classic Rock Band
- July 28 -Smokin' Cobras, 50's Retro Band
For additional information, please contact the Community Center at (626) 256-8246!
Monrovia Renewal North Area Construction Activities Continuing With Major Street Work Through August!
Street reconstruction activities are underway in the North Section of the City’s Monrovia Renewal Project. As this is the largest section of Monrovia Renewal, street improvements will continue between now and August 2019. For purposes of managing a project of this scale, Sully-Miller is conducting the paving work in phases and each area will receive a subsequent schedule and notification prior to work taking place in their immediate area. If your street is not listed in the information below, it will be coming shortly!
Work will continue in the North Section and will include:
- Saw cutting and removals will continue on:
- Streets include: Encinitas Avenue, East side of Melrose Avenue and Hidden Valley Road
- Concrete Pour:
- Streets include: West side of Highland Place, East side of Melrose Avenue, Hidden Valley Road, Encinitas Avenue, Franklin Place, Encinitas Boulevard and Seymour Place
- Backfill & Slot Paving
- Streets include: Highland Place, Franklin Place, Melrose Avenue and Encinitas Boulevard
Work will continue to focus on concrete improvements as well as water and sewer work. Street construction and paving activities are set to resume around the end of July. 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 email@example.com.
Additional Monrovia Renewal North Area Improvements (Water Main Repairs, Concrete Work) Also Continuing On Highland, Greystone, And Prospect – Key Updates For The Week Of June 22!
In addition to the roadwork activities outlined above, the following Monrovia Renewal North section construction activities will continue this week. These activities may require water shut downs to complete the work. All impacted customers will be notified at least 24 hours in advance of water shut down. Sully Miller Contracting will:
- Continue water main repairs on: Highland Place Desiltation Basin
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 signs will be posted in the areas where parking will be impacted; please adhere to all posted signs. During these activities, there may 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!
Suspension Of Street Sweeping Enforcement In North Section Construction Area As Monrovia Renewal Work Continues Through End of August
As we have embarked on Monrovia Renewal North area improvements and have assessed the extensive nature of the construction activity, the City has measured the need to suspend traditional street sweeping operations and enforcement while construction is underway. Beginning Monday, June 17, posted street sweeping restrictions will not be enforced in the current work area, specifically, the portion of the City that is north of and including Hillcrest Boulevard, Grand Avenue, and Greystone Avenue.
While construction activity continues in this section, residents are advised to adhere to all posted construction parking signs! The suspension of enforcement applies only to street sweeping restrictions; all other parking and vehicle code sections will remain enforced. The suspension of citations related to street sweeping will take into effect June 17, 2019 and will continue through August 31, 2019. We appreciate all of your patience as we continue Monrovia Renewal. Should you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to call (626) 932-5575 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monrovia Renewal South Section Project Completion Plan Developed - City Working To Finalize Updated Schedule with New Contractor, Work Set to Begin Within the Next Few Weeks!
As we’ve been reporting for the past several weeks, we have had a bit of a delay in completing all of the planned work located in the South Section of Monrovia Renewal. For reference, 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. We had 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, which includes (among other things) around 1.35 million square feet of street improvements!
Well… after some delay, we’re delighted to share that we’ve finalized a plan to complete the remaining work, as the City has formally engaged another contractor to finish out our South Section upgrades! We spent significant time this past week working through project details with our new contractor (Sully-Miller), and we expect to have a full run-down – including an updated work schedule – ready to distribute within the next week or two. In addition, based on our discussions to date, we do anticipate that the construction work in the South Section will begin within the next few weeks as well!
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.
Join Assemblymember Holden’s Annual Block Party & Community Resource Fair On August 3 In Pasadena
You are invited to join Assemblymember Chris Holden at his 20th Annual Block Party and Community Resource Fair on Saturday, August 3, from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Come discuss legislative and community issues while enjoying live performances, a classic car show, game trucks and much more! The event will take place on the 500 block of East Jackson Street in Pasadena.
Information on local and state departments will also be available with a wide range of departments participating. One of the main purposes of this event is to provide opportunities for the community to interact with state government officials. Learn more by visiting Assemblymember Holden’s website!
Friday Night Teen Scene Set To Occur Every Friday Through August 16!
We are excited to share that our annual Summer Teen Scene program has kicked off and will be held, every Friday, 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. in Library Park. And what’s more… the program has been reimagined and improved!
Now the basics of the program will stay the same… the City of Monrovia, in partnership with several youth service organizations, hosts FREE activities at Library Park every Friday evening for teens in our community. And the purpose of the program continues to be focused on giving teens a space to gather with friends, engage in games and art activities, as well as enjoy live music… all while grabbing a bite to eat!
However, during the past few months, our Community Service Team has been hard at work to coordinate improvements related to this program, and under the direction of Nathalie Wilcox, Recreation Coordinator, along with our YES Intern, Vanessa Mills, we have secured new partnerships, developed brand new programming, and have started the marketing and promotions for our annual Friday night summer teen program.
As part of the reimagined initiative, each week, leaders from various groups (such as the Monrovia Fire Department Explorers, the Monrovia Police Department Explores, the Monrovia Area Partnership Youth Leadership Program, the Monrovia Youth Commission, and the Monrovia Teen Advisory Board) will be hosting a FREE meal, while sharing with the teens different ways they can get involved in the community. There will also be a variety of activities and events to engage the teens, and we have developed some innovative programmatic ideas, including a Cell Phone Photo Scavenger Hunt, and an initiative for teens to discover various public art installations located throughout Old Town Monrovia.
Also of note, the Monrovia Association of Fine Art (MAFA) will be on hand to help with various art projects throughout the summer for program participants, and we’ll have live youth band and performance groups on stage (in addition to regular DJ music)!
The program runs every Friday through August 16, with activities set to be offered from 5:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. each week. For more information, please call, 626-256-8246 and ask about the Friday Night Summer Teen Scene!
Improvements To Intersection Of Huntington & Mayflower Completed On Sunday, June 23 – Staff To Continue To Monitor Conditions At Intersection
On June 23, Los Angeles County Public Works Crews implemented improvements to the operations of the intersection at Huntington Drive and Myrtle Avenue. The improvements include a revised striping and signage plan as well as changes to the traffic signal operations, all of which will:
- Close the gap in the median on Mayflower Avenue to prevent left turn movements
- Changing the signal operations to a “Split Phase” whereby traffic on Mayflower Avenue will cycle with all northbound traffic at one and then all southbound traffic so that they are not on the same cycle; this will improve left turn movements for vehicles traveling both directions on Mayflower Avenue.
- Implement new lane configurations for the Northbound traffic on Mayflower Avenue, including:
- Number 1 Lane: Left Turn only
- Number 2 Lane: Left Turn or Straight/Through
- Number 3 Lane: Right Turn only
Staff worked with Los Angeles County Public Works, over the last several months, to review the conditions at this intersection and design the implemented improvements. The primary concern that was hears was issues with motorists on northbound Mayflower Avenue as they approach Huntington Drive. This area has been known to back up severely due to capacity of left turns at Huntington Drive, the left turns of vehicles into and out of the shopping center on the East side of Mayflower. These improvements will increase the throughput of vehicles on northbound Mayflower to alleviate these conditions.
Public Works and Engineering staff will continue to monitor conditions at this intersection to ensure that the improvements are operating as designed. If necessary, minor changes and improvements will be implemented if necessary. Please contact Public Works if you have any questions or concerns.
Check Out the New Monrovia Today to Start Planning Your Summer Fun!
Summer is jam-packed with fun activities in Monrovia! Summer classes begin July 8, so find something new to learn and make some friends by registering for classes today! Browse the online flipbook to easily search using key words and click on live links to register for each class or learn more on the City website! 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.
City Council Adopts Resolution To Call For A Special Election To Keep Monrovia Revenue Local Sales And Use Tax Proposal On November 5, 2019
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. The genesis of this idea was borne from the propensity of LA County to continue gaining approval for local sales tax rate increases, which have placed Monrovia on the precipice of hitting the State maximum rate of 10.25%. Currently, we only have 0.75% of sales tax capacity remaining, and there are several potential regional sales tax increase proposals being considered.
Throughout all of our outreach efforts, the response from most of the community regarding the possibility of increasing our local sales tax rate to keep Monrovia’s revenue local (and away from regional agencies, like LA County) has been generally positive. Given that feedback, on May 7, staff prepared a study session overview for City Council regarding our efforts to date, and also outlined a staff proposed spending plan should the measure be approved. The proposed spending plan was developed based on looming future fiscal threats, and to fund aspirational local priority projects that have been put on hold due to lack of funding. The key priority funding areas include:
- Fund an upgrade to the City’s Community Center
- Achieve a AAA Rating
- 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 and June 4 Budget Study Sessions with the City Council. Additional details regarding the proposed spending plan and sales tax initiative can be found online.
Following all of the consideration regarding this matter, the City Council last Tuesday voted to adopt the requisite resolutions needed to call for a special election to allow the community to consider the Keep Monrovia Revenue Local Sales and Use Tax Proposal. The item will be considered by Monrovia voters on Tuesday, November 5, 2019.
During the next several months, 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.
City Council And Planning Commission Approve Moving Forward With Initial Parking And Traffic Mitigation Plans
Last Tuesday, the City held a joint City Council / Planning Commission meeting to review and discuss additional parking and traffic mitigation plans in the Station Square area, given the increased development interest Monrovia is currently experiencing. While the City has instituted significant development mitigation programs in our attempt to find a way to balance the competing need to address increasing housing costs with protecting our existing quality of life, both our policy makers and staff have wanted to spend additional time thinking about parking and traffic related concerns.
All of the proposed development projects, along with the City’s current development mitigation program, can be found online at www.buildingmonrovia.com.
Regarding parking concerns, staff has been working to develop additional parking mitigations for consideration as we prepare to consider entitlement of the next wave of development projects. After much analysis, we have developed a mitigation effort for policy maker consideration that would require all major residential projects in the Station Square area – and anywhere in the City, for that matter – to establish in their lease agreements a requirement that prohibits their tenants from parking on any City street. Furthermore, our proposed condition would require that all developers establish a Parking Violation Eviction Program, whereby any individual who continuously violates the parking rule could be evicted from the housing complex.
In addition, regarding traffic impacts, staff has for the past several months been working on an overall analysis of the potential cumulative traffic impacts that could result from establishment of the proposed development projects currently in our pipeline. To that end, we recently completed a comprehensive review of a study area of the entire City located south of Huntington Drive. As part of that review, we analyzed 29 separate traffic intersections, and modeled what would happen if we were to have all of our currently identified projects approved.
As we conducted our review, our assessment priorities included:
- Our General Plan has identified the minimum acceptable operational level during peak hours for each of our intersections.
- We modeled future traffic conditions through the target year of 2040, and included in our assessment regional growth patterns, known development projects, and other projects allowed by the General Plan by 2040.
- This assessment was intended to see what would happen in the year 2040 at each of the intersections if we do nothing to improve the situation.
Based on the analysis, our review concluded that by 2040, development patterns will add a total of 2,048 morning peak hour trips, and 3,457 afternoon peak hour trips. Also, the review indicates that if we do nothing, in 2040, 12 of the 29 study intersections will be operating at less than the requisite level of service as articulated in our General Plan.
Given this analysis, State law allows us to assess a Traffic Impact Fee on all new development that would require that project proponents pay for their proportional share of the additional traffic being generated by their developments. To that end, we are working to institute a Traffic Impact Fee in Monrovia, which if approved, would raise funds from each of the new developments to make traffic / intersection improvements as identified in our study. The identified improvements are highlighted in the map below.
We will be taking steps to institute the actual implementation of the Traffic Impact Fee program and the proposed parking mitigation program with the Planning Commission and City Council in the next several months.
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.
Check Out The San Gabriel Valley Mosquito & Vector Control District’s New Music Video For Mosquito Prevention!
The summer of 2019 is kicking off with a music video that may not be a Top 40 hit, but it’s certainly priority public health advice against Aedes mosquitoes – the same type of mosquitoes responsible for Zika outbreaks in the United States! The music video “Don’t Bring Back the Aedes” educates students and the public about the threats of Aedes mosquitoes in Los Angeles County. Check it out online!
“Ever since mosquito control officials discovered widespread Aedes mosquito infestations in L.A. County eight years ago, the traditional prevention tips against Aedes mosquitoes have not been very effective,” said Levy Sun, SGVMVCD public information officer. “We need to cut through the buzz with something different, and that’s what the music video hopes to achieve.”
While West Nile virus persists as the biggest threat to residents, vector control officials are also concerned about aggressive, day-biting Aedes mosquitoes. These mosquitoes can transmit Zika virus, dengue fever, yellow fever and chikungunya. There have been no local outbreaks of these viruses in San Gabriel Valley; however, the presence of Aedes mosquitoes increases the risk.
Mosquito control experts advise residents take the following steps to bite back against mosquitoes.
- Prevent bites by applying insect repellent containing EPA-registered active ingredients, including DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535. Always read label instructions.
- Tip and toss all sources of stagnant water on your property, including in flower pots, old tires, buckets, pet dishes and trash cans.
- Install screens on windows and doors, and keep them in good repair.
- Report neglected swimming pools to mosquito and vector control.
- If, after dumping stagnant water, residents continue to experience mosquito problems, they can submit a tip to SGVMVCD at sgvmosquito.org or call 626-814-9466.
In response to year-round mosquito-borne disease threats, SGVMVCD’s programs continue its efforts to reduce mosquito populations.
- Vector control specialists monitor and control for mosquitoes in stagnant water sources in public areas and on residential properties.
- The surveillance staff traps mosquitoes and sends samples of adult mosquitoes to be tested for diseases, such as West Nile virus and St. Louis Encephalitis.
- Outreach and education continue its spring education push in schools and community events to remind everyone to take preventative measures against mosquitoes.
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 began on June 17 with crews trenching and installing conduit within the roadway to connect all of the underground vaults and facilities that were previously installed. Work began on Primrose north to Walnut and down Walnut eastbound to Myrtle. Work is taking place along one side of the street so through traffic will be available; motorists are advised to be cautious when traveling through work areas. All businesses and residences in the area will be accessible at all times. Please contact Public Works with any questions about the work progress and schedule!
Annual Citywide Sewer Cleaning Program Has Begun, With 200,000 Linear Feet Of Sewer Lines Set To Be Cleaned By July
We wanted to let everyone know that the City has 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!
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).
Summer Reading Program 2019 @ Monrovia Public Library
Looking for some FREE fun in the sun this summer? Then head over to the Library for Summer Reading 2019. We have programs for all ages, plus if you can receive prizes and free books by logging your days of reading! This year we have a special Grand Prize, a $500 Disney Gift Card, generously donated by Creative Woman. For your chance to win, collect all 10 Learning Icons over the summer. Each Learning Icon represents one of the skills you can learn by attending library programs, such as Critical Thinking, Community Building, and Adventure & Discovery. Visit the Library's website to learn more about the Summer Reading Program and Learning Icons. You can find the Summer Reading 2019 Programming Brochure HERE. Let’s make this the best summer ever!
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!
Holistic Health: How to Nourish the Gut & Brain Connection
Holistic Health Coach, Christy Jones, will share her wisdom on how the gut and brain are connected as well as the dietary and lifestyle changes we can make to improve the health of both. You’ll get to make a healthy meal with Christy! Space is limited and registration is required. Register for the program online here or visit monrovipubliclibrary.org for more information on library events.
- Wednesday, July 24, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m., Library Community Room
Laser Tag for Teens After Hours @ MPL
Grab your friends and join us for a game of laser tag in the library! For Grades 6th - 12th.
- Friday, July 26, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.,Library Youth Services Area
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
- 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 email@example.com
Key Links & Help Keep Monrovia Beautiful:
- City News and Highlights
- Meeting Agendas and Minutes
- GoMonrovia Details to Get Around with Lyft
- Sustainable Landscape Recognition Award
- Graffiti Removal and Gift Card Program
- Abandoned Bulky Items Reporting and Raffle Program
Questions? Key Contacts:
- Monrovia City Hall
- (626) 932-5550
- Public Works
- (626) 932-5575
- Community Center
- (626) 256-8142
- (626) 256-8274
Interesting Story Of The Week – Now We Have to Worry About Asian Longhorn Ticks
And the winner isn’t orange juice.
At least, that’s the case if we’re talking about a competition to identify the healthier drink!
Our interesting story of the week comes to us from the website, “Study Finds,” which reports on the results from various academic studies from around the world. And a recent study conducted identified that the “estimated two billion people” who eat insects on a daily basis are ingesting a food that is just packed with antioxidants.
“Edible insects are an excellent source of protein, polyunsaturated fatty acids, minerals, vitamins and fiber. But until now, nobody had compared them with classical functional foods such as olive oil or orange juice in terms of antioxidant activity… Of the edible insects analyzed, grasshoppers, silkworms and crickets displayed the highest levels of antioxidants – almost five times more than fresh orange juice!”
Here at the City, we are well aware of the health benefits that come from eating insects, as there are some folks around City Hall that have been known to pass around and munch on a carton of grasshoppers or crickets.
However, for the uninitiated who have yet to sample the “delicacy” that is bugs… feel free to click here to read more about this very interesting health food option!
Police Department's Weekly Neighborhood Watch Report
The Police Department’s weekly neighborhood watch report for the period July 11 - 17, 2019, has been included for your review and reference.
A copy of the report can be found at the following link: Weekly Neighborhood Watch Report