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Downey State of the City Luncheon

 

STATE OF CITY: (l-r) Downey Mayor Pro Tem Blanca Pacheco, Senator Bob Archuleta, Downey Mayor Claudia Frometa and  Montebello Mayor  Kimberly Cobos-Cawthorne.

 

October 27, 2021

By Tammye McDuff

Hosted by Downey Chamber of Commerce, the annual State of the City luncheon was held October 19, 2021 at the Downey Rio Hondo Event Center; the event was sold out with over 150 community leaders attending.

“Great things have been accomplished this year,” began Mayor Claudia Frometa, “even as we have dealt with the challenges of an ongoing pandemic and yet have made many accomplishments and we have reached many of our goals as a city.”

Effective February 2021, the city has refinanced a portion of their CalPERS pension obligations, saving the city approximately $65 million. “I am also very pleased to say that we have balanced the city budget, seven years and counting.” Frometa added. “Prudent spending and strategic financial planning has been key to our city’s strength and stability.”

It was a major goal of the City Council to reduce the city’s carbon footprint by installing solar panels on all city-owned buildings. This will save over $150K the first year and $10 million over the next 25 years.

With the help of the Chamber of Commerce, Downey has accomplished economic vibrancy adding 356 new businesses during a pandemic, including the new and expanded Foot Locker Community store on Firestone Boulevard.

A new automated permit tracking system allows for greater efficiency, throughout various city departments, including the Planning Department. The entire system is scheduled to be completed by December of this year.

From October 2020 to October 2021, 14 miles of streets have been repaved or rehabilitated. With the council’s support, $30 million will be allocated over the next three years to repair approximately 50 more miles of streets in Downey.

Several new committees have been added regarding housing. The Affordable Housing Committee is currently studying an Affordable Housing Inclusionary Ordinance. “An inclusionary housing ordinance can be an effective tool for the city to facilitate and encourage the construction of affordable housing units within the community and help satisfy state-mandated affordable housing production,” stated Aldo Schindler, Director of Community Development in a report to City Council. We will be providing quarterly Housing Resource events, allocating $950,000 for rental assistance, a three-month funding. Over $608,000 has been awarded to local renters.

The expansion of the Columbia Memorial Space Center and the new home for the shuttle mock-up ‘Inspiration’ is underway.

The conversion of the historical Vultee Building on Lakewood Boulevard into a Conference Center/STEM Idea Incubator and future home to the Downey Museum, will add to the Downey legacy.

“Thank you to my council colleagues, our City Manager and City Staff for their continued support and collective hard work on behalf of our residents. I would also like to thank Kaiser Permanente family and the Downey team for having a mobile flu vaccination unit here today at the luncheon.”

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