The Galt City Council has hit its stride in accomplishing goals it sets for itself so far in terms of improving the area economically and aesthetically, city officials announced at Tuesday’s meeting.
Currently, the city has completed roughly 50 projects the council and city staff, crafted to better not only the city’s economy, but the look of the city as well.
Projects included the completion of Walker Park, which is set to have a ribbon-cutting ceremony in August, the hiring of Bill Bowen, Galt’s new chief of police, and the installation of flashing crosswalks at A Street and Lincoln Way.
The strategic plan is conducted each year so that city officials can recognize the most important things the city needs to accomplish in the next year to make the city the best it could be, city manager Jason Behrmann said.
“Even with the scarce financial resources that we have, we have done well,” he said. “I am so proud that in this time of budget difficulties the city was able to do so much, even balance the (city) budget.”
Behrmann also highlighted Brewster’s Bar & Grill, which he said was a “big plus” to the Old Town area and has already been a positive addition to the city financially.
Mayor Barbara Payne also congratulated the council and other city staff members present at the meeting for their hard work in completing the tasks set forth in previous meetings. But she warned that the state budget and the two bills that are currently preventing the city from moving forward with other building projects could hinder planning goals in the future.
“Unfortunately, most of the goals we have set for ourselves depend on what happens with the fate of the redevelopment agencies in the future,” she said. “... (The projects) really depend on what happens at the state level.”
Galt is currently in the midst of dealing with two pieces of legislation that are prohibiting the city from moving forward with a redevelopment project for the Old Town area.
The Old Town Relocation Plan — which was slated to cost roughly $225,000 — would allow the city to renovate certain areas of Old Town to bring in more businesses that would possibly help stimulate the city’s economy.
But, two trailer bills — ABX1 26 and ABX1 27 — that were part of the state budget passed in June place serious restrictions on redevelopment agencies’ involvement in building and renovation projects.
The council was originally scheduled to vote to approve moving forward with plans to continue the redevelopment project in Galt’s Old Town.
But more discussion was needed to determine whether or not the city would be able to make an additional $1 million payment to the state — the amount required to keep a city’s redevelopment agency open and thus allow the city to move forward with the building project, Behrmann said.
City attorney Steve Rudolph asked the council to move the final decision for the Old Town redevelopment project to their Aug. 3 meeting.
Going forward, the city has five major areas it is looking to improve, each with sub-projects that will be spearheaded by anyone from the city’s chief of police to the city manager.
Of the five areas outlined in the plan, improving economic development and financial stability were the categories the council determined needed the most attention.
“The hurdles the state budget has put in front of us will be worked on and we look forward to putting those building projects that are so beneficial to our city back in motion,” Behrmann said.
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