Guest commentary: Roseville moves ahead with projects
Published 12:00 am PDT Thursday, August 7, 2008
Last week, I outlined the city's budget for fiscal year 2008-09 and how we're adjusting to the housing slowdown, sales and property tax revenue decreases, rising fuel costs and the effect of the state's budget crisis on cities.
Taking these factors into account explains why the 2008-09 city budget is one of many contrasts. For while the economy slows, long-term fiscal planning combined with funding that was in place before the slowdown allow the city to move forward with several key projects.
The city continues to invest significantly in downtown Roseville with a $65 million, multiyear revitalization effort, funded through redevelopment bonds and specific funds for transportation, traffic mitigation, water and sewer rehabilitation and tree mitigation.
The first phase – historic Old Town – was completed in the spring, and we encourage community members to share their vision this fall as we meet to develop the specific plan for all of downtown Roseville.
Improving traffic circulation
Traffic circulation is another emphasis for the city and the community. While we expand commuter and alternative transportation options, our highest priority is continuing to support the state Department of Transportation and the Placer County Transportation Planning Agency in their efforts to improve Interstate 80. The completion of Phase 1 of the I-80 project has already provided a significant improvement in traffic flow in the eastbound direction.
Phase 2 is planned to start this month with additional high occupancy vehicle and auxiliary lanes both east and westbound from the Placer County line to Eureka Road. Funding comes primarily from state and federal sources.
Other high-visibility improvements will be made to the interchange at Pleasant Grove Boulevard and Highway 65, the Riverside Avenue streetscape and the Cirby Way corridor (Foothills Boulevard to Riverside Avenue), with funding coming from sources such as impact fees paid by new development, gas tax funds and redevelopment agency funds, not the city's general fund.
The quality of life we enjoy in Roseville is enhanced by our parks, libraries and recreation programs.
In addition to opening our 58th park this summer, and a new library and Utility Exploration Center earlier this year, the city has contributed $1 million worth of parkland and park development funds to set a foundation for the fundraising effort to create "universally accessible playgrounds" where children and parents of all abilities can play side-by-side.
Along with the new universally accessible playground envisioned for Mahany Park, plans call for the city's other regional parks – Royer and Maidu – also to be transformed into barrier-free, sensory-rich areas.
The city recently broke ground on the Central Park Aquatics Center with two indoor pools and solar panels providing year-round climate control. Construction is funded by developer fees, and operations will be self-funded by user charges, with anticipated completion in late 2009.
In addition, state and federal grants have made it possible to begin work on a permanent facility and new exhibits for the Maidu Interpretive Center.
These are just some of the projects happening in Roseville. To keep up with city news, visit our Web site at www.roseville.ca.us
or get a copy of our semi-monthly newsletter, Reflections. It's available for download and as an e-subscription.
While we tackle today's challenges, we remain committed to ensuring the long-term sustainability of our city. Our quality of life was recognized in the August issue of Money magazine when Roseville ranked 90th in the top 100 best places to live in the nation. What makes this city a great place to live is how our community comes together to dream big and to get things done.
We have tough choices to make now, but we will make them wisely and with citizens' interests foremost in mind.