BRAWLEY — The Brawley city council met to discuss planning for the 2017/18 fiscal year at its regular meeting held Tuesday at the Brawley Police Department’s Emergency Operations Center.
The council discussed the goals of the city, which included financial stability, business attraction and retention, reliability of the water and sewer services, cleanliness of the city, city services, fire and police departments, and street upgrades.
The council also voiced concerns over the century-old infrastructure, such as water and sewer lines that need to be replaced throughout the city. According to Rosanna Bayon Moore, city manager, the city patches broken water lines on a regular basis.
According to Moore, the city does not have the funds to complete every project that is on the to-do list. The replacement of water and sewer lines is a multi-million dollar project. Main Street is located above a main water line and both are in need of repair. The city has delayed the repair of Main Street until the water lines can be replaced. Street repair is on a yearly rotational schedule citywide.
Many positive additions to the city were brought to light, including upgrades to city parks and new subdivision construction.
Also discussed were the possibilities of other businesses locating in the city and how to retain existing businesses. Councilman George Nava commented that business incentives may help the city grow.
While the downtown area has been in slow decline over the past decades, it is beginning to experience a sort of revival, with several developers buying vacant buildings, according to Moore.
The utility users’ tax will expire in May of 2018. Moore said the city depends on this revenue to run the city and she estimated 20 employees would be impacted if the tax is not renewed through a vote by the citizens. Moore said fire and police employees and their services would probably have to be reduced by the city without the tax in place.
Of the city funds distribution, 80 percent goes to employee compensation and 20 percent is used to run the city’s public works.
In other city business, the council voted unanimously to give HDR engineering, Inc. an additional $50,000 to the $40,000 they received for professional services regarding industrial wastewater treatment program support. HDR’s services include a review of engineering design information, monitoring, sampling, permit compliance, inspection, and training. HDR provides technical oversight of the city’s industrial pretreatment program, particularly industrial discharge permits.
Current industrial wastewater dischargers in the city are Pioneer Memorial Healthcare District and One World Beef Packers.
The council also approved adoption of a new mission statement for the city of Brawley:
“To effectively provide the highest quality municipal services in a manner that values local assets, builds public trust, and advances overall community prosperity.”